Jeff Bundschu is no stranger to the lure of the vine—as a sixth generation California vintner, wine has been in his family since 1858. Jeff was raised on the family estate in Sonoma and began working on the vineyards at 12 years old. Jeff attended college in Los Angeles, where he earned a degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California. An intrepid explorer, he traveled extensively following graduation.
In 1993, he returned to Sonoma Valley, surrendering to the powerful pull of the (fun) six-generation family business. Already knowing his way around the winery from his childhood, he took on learning sales and marketing by representing Bundschu Company and their oldest brand, Gundlach Bundschu, throughout the country. This experience convinced him that the wine industry needed to expand its outreach and approachability to a larger portion of the population, leading him to co-found The Wine Brats, an organization focused on educating a new generation of wine consumers.
In a circumstance unique to traditional family businesses, Jeff was appointed President of Gundlach Bundschu Winery in 2001, at the age of 33. His father, Jim, had similarly taken the reins at a young age, convincing his father to redefine the estate vision to meet the opportunities and challenges of the day. And so Jim handed control to Jeff, who set out to achieve a vision of Gundlach Bundschu – to be the best estate winery in Sonoma County.
Equally important to Jeff is the preservation of the open-minded and spirited culture with which the winery has long been associated—which he today brings to the parent company, Bundschu Company, its brands and experiences.
“Our life here at Bundschu Company, with its wine and good people, has always been about laughter, hard work, enjoying the inspiration that comes from being in such a beautiful place, and sharing what we have with our friends and neighbors.”
Jeff makes his home in Sonoma with his wife Elizabeth and their two children.