' Vintage Reserve: Vines to Wine

Vintage Reserve: from vine to wine

Vintage Reserve 2010

Vintage Reserve is a Bundschu family tradition that began in 1981. Every vintage since, we have crafted a limited bottling from the most elegant and expressive barrels. The 2010 vintage release marked the 30th release of VR. And we've just been getting better. We think these wines represent the very highest quality Sonoma Valley has to offer.

The 2011 is releasing soon, but learn about the art and artist now.

Tufa It all starts in the vineyard. Most of the grapes that go into Vintage Reserve come from the sections of Rhinefarm at the very highest elevations (150-400 feet) and are grown in a rocky, volcanic soil known as rhyolite. Standing at 400 feet, as Rhinefarm stretches in the distance, you can see the light, volcanic rock (called tufa) that broke down over millions of years to form the soil on which you stand.

When we first began to plan the Vintage Reserve program more than 30 years ago, we first identified the very best blocks in our estate vineyard and paid extra special attention to the vines there. We still care for them painstakingly today. No expense is spared in in the farming of these blocks. Just very best berries from the best clusters from the best vines from the best rows from the best blocks are picked and pressed.

Cabernet grapesOnly the very highest quality grapes ever have a chance at making it into a Vintage Reserve barrel. The grapes are meticulously sorted using state of the art equipment -- you can feel the excitement on the days of harvest when the optical sorter is on the crushpad. There's no doubt -- something special is happening. With the aid of the sorter our winemaking team selects only the finest grapes, those of the desired shape, color and size, to be pressed and fermented as potential Vintage Reserve.

It doesn't stop when the wine goes into barrel.

From these barrels, winemakers Keith Emerson and Anne Dempsey select the very best ones to create the blend worthy of the Vintage Reserve label.
 Learn more about and order the current release Vintage Reserve.

And the labels themselves have been just as special as what's inside the bottle since day one. Artists are comissioned to create unique art for each vintage, in series ranging from odes to ancient winemaking world to homages to our family's more recent history to images inspired by the very modern. 

Each Vintage Reserve label since the first in 1981 has been the work of an artist. The 2010 represents the culmination of the American Landscape series: The previous five featured artists from New Orleans, Chicago, Maine, Santa Fe and the Pacific Northwest, depicting meaningful representations of their homes. The 2010 label, the final in the series, brings it all back home to Rhinefarm with a depiction of the pair of watusi cattle raised by Jim and Nancy Bundschu right here alongside top cabernet sauvignon vines, but it began with a roadtrip. Travelling the country to commemorate our winery’s 150th anniversary inspired us to create a series of Vintage Reserve labels celebrating America’s diverse communities and our common passion.

The American Landscape Series

Vintage Reserve 2010

Vintage Reserve 2009

Vintage Reserve 2008

Vintage Reserve 2007

Vintage Reserve 2006

Vintage Reserve 2005

To view all the labels since 1981 click here.
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