Anne Dempsey hadn’t planned to follow her grandfather’s footsteps when she enrolled in the University of California at Davis. But she soon realized she shared his passion and in 2003, she graduated with a degree in viticulture and enology and became the third generation of her family to work in winemaking.
Anne devoted the next two years to gaining as much winemaking experience as possible, working four harvests at wineries around the world, including J Vineyards & Winery and Alderbrook Winery in Healdsburg, California, Mud House Wine Company in Marlborough, New Zealand, and Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons in Franschhoek Valley, South Africa.
In spring 2005, Anne joined Clos Pegase Winery in Napa Valley as enologist, and was quickly promoted to Assistant Winemaker. During her stint at Clos Pegase, Anne worked closely with winemaker Shaun Richardson and consulting winemaker Paul Hobbs to improve cellar functions and wine quality.
In 2007, Anne joined Gundlach Bundschu as enologist and was promoted in late 2008 to lead associate winemaker; in spring of 2013 she became Winemaker. Anne directs all daily cellar operations and works closely with Executive Winemaker Keith Emerson.
“I am inspired by the fierce dedication of the Bundschus and Keith Emerson to push each block of the estate vineyard to be the best it can be, to pursue the highest quality in each lot, and to ultimately make Gundlach Bundschu wines bring out the very best this site has to offer,” she says. “It is remarkable to work with a more than 155-year-old estate. It’s important to me to pay heed to that history but to never be afraid to innovate and evolve in the pursuit of excellence.”