Jim Bundschu on the dawn of California's wine revolution

February 05, 2009
Wine from the Sonoma Valley wasn't always so glamorous. Jim Bundschu recalls his dad hanging out at the kitchen table with California Burgundy jug pioneer August Sebastiani, playing the card game Pedro in the early 1960s. "They'd be drinking wine out of peanut butter jars while my mom made slumgulleon," says Bundschu, who oversees the vineyards of the Gundlach Bundschu estate in the hilly Carneros region of Sonoma. But in 1966, with a stiff new diploma in agricultural economics, Bundschu recognized the potential, maybe not for glamour, but certainly to create something extraordinary.

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