SONOMA — Sixth-generation winemaker Jeff Bundschu is the one-of-a-kind personality who runs one of Northern California’s oldest and most historic winery’s: Sonoma’s Gundlach Bundschu. He joins Coco Sterzenbach and Mike DeWald on this week’s episode of the Rock’N Vino podcast.
Gundlach Bundschu is a pitch-perfect blend of the worlds of entertainment and wine. After initially preferring to focus on what the winery is doing now, Bundschu said he now embraces the winery’s storied history. In addition to the winery’s wine offerings and expansive array of activities, Bundschu wanted to add a strong musical influence.
“I was in a band in college … and there was a minute there where we opened for a couple of decent-sized bands,” he said. “In those days, it was all about getting signed and getting discovered. … It wasn’t like I lost the bug. I suppressed it.”
Bundschu took on a DIY mindset to build the winery into a viable music venue for acts that went far beyond your typical wine-circuit. Before, the winery had a stage that was devoted to Shakespeare performances. His efforts led to the development of two separate music venues on the property: The Old Redwood Barn and an amphitheater; as well as the Huichica Festival, which is now held in both the Sonoma Valley and New York’s Hudson Valley. A third location is in development.
Bundschu then partnered with promoter (((folkYEAH))) to raise the bar even higher to bring in acts like St. Lucia, Mac DeMarco and Sharon Van Etten for shows at the winery’s venues. Bundschu looks to infuse even more of a musical influence into his winemaking, working on a new wine project creating curated Spotify playlists to pair with specific wines, which are accessible through a scannable code on the label.
Check out this week’s episode.