Effervescent Travels: Gundlach Bundschu Winery

Gun Bun entrance

© Gundlach Bundschu

Hello again wine + travel lovers!

My last Effervescent Travels post gave you an insider’s look at, and a review of the wines of, Altra Winery during my trip to Sonoma and Napa last spring and, as promised, I’m back for another edition of “Effervescent Travels” detailing more of my wine country adventures. This time I’m highlighting the fabness that is Gundlach Bundschu.

Soooo, let’s go ahead and address the elephant in the room: how the heck do you pronounce “Gundlach Bundschu?” It’s actually a whole lot easier that it looks, and the winery has created a cute little diagram with graphics that, well, literally spelled it out for you. Gundlach Bundschu is pronounced:

gunbun rebus (dark)

© Gundlach Bundschu

It’s perfect, right?!! In case that pic isn’t now permanently emblazoned on your brain like it is mine, you can just call it “Gun Bun” for short. Easy peasy. Now that we’ve gotten today’s vocab word pronunciation lesson for the day done, let’s get to the winery!

Here’s an interesting fun fact: the winery is thought to be the oldest existing family-owner winery in the Napa area, dating all the way back to 1858 when Jacob Gundlach bought 400 acres of farmland in Sonoma which he dubbed “Rhinefarm.” To add to the enchanting romanticism of the winery’s beginnings, Joseph and his wife Eva traveled all over Germany and France for their honeymoon, picking up rootstock to establish the winery’s vines during their adventures.

Gun Bun front winery shot

© Gundlach Bundschu

Charles Bundschu came onto the scene 10 years later in 1868 and made an impact in the wine industry with both his business acumen and by being an outspoken advocate of creating quality California wines.

Deepening the proverbial ties that bind, the families were intertwined even further when Charles married Jacob Gundlach’s oldest daughter Francisca. After Jacob’s death the winery was renamed Gundlach Bundschu in 1894 and the rest, as they say, is fabulous, storied, history.

The winery has an exceptional range of tasting options encompassing a variety of unique and interesting experiences. You can do tasting in the historic winery, the scenic courtyard, or at the outdoor Donkey Bar. Elevated experiences include fab tastings in the winery’s cave or you can get your “giddy up and go on” and taste and tour on the winery’s Pinzgauer Austrian Army Vehicle. Check it out:

Gun Bun Pinzgauer

© Gundlach Bundschu

Gun Bun Pinzgauer 2

© Gundlach Bundschu

Cool, yes? I’m a sucker for awesome and distinctive wine experiences and this is definitely #LiveAnEffervesentLifestyle approved. I didn’t get a chance to experience the Pin while I was there but you best believe that I definitely won’t miss riding it the next time I visit Gun Bun!

The wine offerings themselves are just as varied and there is sure to be something(s) that will delight your palate. All of the wines were truly well-crafted and delicious–I absolutely adored the Cab Sauv, the Tempranillo, the Cab Franc, and the Gerwurztraminer. As an added bonus, I also had the distinct pleasure of tasting/pairing the Cabernet Franc with an Olive Oil & Cacao bar with sea salt–absolutely sublime.

The grounds themselves are particularly lovely too. They courtyard patio has a tone of shady olive trees and a reservoir that makes lingering over a bottle of wine extremely difficult to resist. Between the experiences, the winery, and the wines themselves, it is super easy to spend an entire day at Gun Bun. An. En. Tire. Day.

You can see for yourself how wonderful the winery is in all my photos below…then make sure you go see for yourself in person!!!


Follow the path… © The Bubbleista


The winery entrance {© The Bubbleista}


Wine and all that jazz. {© The Bubbleista}


The beginning of tasting nirvana. {© The Bubbleista}


An incredible pairing! {© The Bubbleista}


Entrance to the underground wine cave. {© The Bubbleista}


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Barrels on barrels on barrels on barrels on barrels… {© The Bubbleista}


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The gorgeous courtyard, patio, and reservoir. How could you not want to hang out here. {© The Bubbleista}


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Ahh, the life… {© The Bubbleista}


Wine with a view. {© The Bubbleista}