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by Fred McMillin
Shake and Bake
San Francisco, April 18, 1906, 5:13 A.M. "A puncheon of Red Wine was shaken from its saddle of the third row right above my desk and the Claret flooded everything."
"Half an hour after the shock a mountain of heavy dense smoke loomed up from the heart of the city. ...The furious wall of fire consumed the Palace Hotel. Our building, that had never held a better and larger assortment of wines, fell at 5 o'clock."
...written by Charles Bundschu
Jacob Gundlach had made his fortune by brewing beer in Bavaria. He arrived in San Francisco in 1850. Eight years later he planted the historic Rhine Farm vineyard in Sonoma Valley. Son-in-law Charles Bundschu soon became a dynamic partner. After the quake and then Prohibition, winemaking stopped but grape production continued.
In 1968, the great-great-grandson of Jacob, Jim Bundschu, began replanting the old vineyard and even used some grafts from the original varieties. In 1973 he reopened the winery.
An 1893 Sonoma Wine Directory says the Gundlach's 150 acres "makes mostly white wines." Today, one of the whites regularly scores well with the critics. The 1997 just won Best Value at my last tasting. Here it is.
Wine of the Day
1997 Rhinefarm Vineyards Gewürztraminer
Postscript—For the Younger Generation
Jeff is co-founder of Winebrats. Ask him about the organization's new wine book, or watch for that name in your bookstore.
04/14/00—It's the Price, Stupid
04/13/00—The President's Pick
04/12/00—Tamas for the Boss
04/11/00—Clear Lake Takes the Cake
04/10/00—Out Damn Bubble
04/07/00—Sure Thing Sterling
04/06/00—Sing a Song of Syrah
04/03/00—Noah to Napa
This page created April 2000