DESCRIBE YOUR SONOMA VALLEY ROOTS?
I was born into a nine generation (six generation Californian) winemaking family. Rhinefarm Estate, the home of Gundlach Bundschu Winery, was purchased in 1858 by Jacob Gundlach. Shortly after, he brought on a business partner Charles Bundschu, who married Jacob’s eldest daughter and our winery history was born.
WHAT SETS SONOMA VALLEY APART?
Its approachability, authenticity, diversity of wines and down to earth roots.
FAVORITE PLACE ONLY THE LOCALS KNOW?
My very favorite place I’ll keep secret, (it wouldn’t be a “locals only” place then), but I will share a special, in-the-know haunt in Sonoma: the back room at the Swiss Hotel. If only that room could talk! It’s been the location for multiple celebrations both happy and sad and one too many Glarifees.
ONE LESSON YOU CHERISH FROM YOUR PARENT’S GENERATION?
The honoring of a handshake agreement because I’ve seen my Dad, Jim Bundschu, work this way for years. The loyalty and respect he has for others and others of him is unparalleled.
WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR GUILTY PLEASURES?
Spending money on frivolous items because of my Amazon Prime membership.
WHAT ARE YOU INSPIRED BY?
The legacy and history that my family has played in California wine culture and the role Gundlach Bundschu plays in various ways in so many people’s lives. From engagements to weddings, to recounting a first trip to wine country where GB was the first winery visit, I’m lucky enough to hear and be inspired by how much our property, winery and family means to so many different people.
FAVORITE WINE (BESIDES YOUR OWN)?
I recently returned from a trip to Germany where I visited the birthplaces of both Jacob Gundlach and Charles Bundschu, the founders of our family and winery. So, needless to say, I’ve been really into Riesling and Pinot Blanc lately.
WHAT WOULD YOUR LAST MEAL BE?
The BBQ peel and eat shrimp sautéed in Worcestershire-spiked butter sauce from Mr. B’s in New Orleans.
FAVORITE HOLIDAY TRADITION?
If you are a “late bloomer” or on the “10 year” college plan….don’t come to our house for Christmas Eve. The rule in the Bundschu family is if you haven’t graduated from college, then you must “sing or perform” to the ENTIRE family before you get to eat. You will definitely have to sing for your supper!
HOPES FOR THE FUTURE?
I wake up every day wanting to ensure our winery is in a position to still be family owned when the next generation takes over.