Wild Hogges and Bermuda

When the Sea Venture was first shipwrecked off the coast of Bermuda, its sailors were fortunate to find a bountiful supply of wild pigs (wild hogges), in addition to the pigs which the Sea Venture was itself carrying.

These wild pigs provided food both for the Sea Venture survivors, and, in due course, for the settlors in Jamestown, Virginia.

Assuming that pigs don’t fly, or swim, how did they come to be in Bermuda in the first place?

Historians suggest that it was thanks to the Spanish explorer, Juan de Bermudez, who first discovered Bermuda in 1511. He probably left some pigs on the island, as a source of food, in case he was himself shipwrecked on his way home. The pigs would have started reproducing, and they probably survived without any human predators for a period of 100 years or so.

Bermuda’s wild hogs were so plentiful that sometimes a hunting party would catch between 30 and 50 pigs in a single week, as is vividly described in “A Tale of Two Colonies: What Really Happened in Virginia and Bermuda?“, by Virginia Bernhard (University of Missouri Press, 2011).

The only Wild Hogges found in Bermuda these days, however, are in the form of wine bottles …

Although Bermuda is not renowned for its local vineyards, it is lucky to have a strong connection with the California Central Coast’s wine region, in the form of the aptly-named “Wild Hogge Wines”, produced by Huw and Dale Morris, two former Bermudian residents.

This artisanal wine label (made by a former anaesthetist!) is only found for sale in Bermuda, and it is definitely worth tasting.






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