Gundlach Bundschu Winery has appointed Keith Emerson as winemaker, the Sonoma News reports.
Emerson replaces Linda Trotta, who served as winemaker for 20 years and oversaw the evolution of estate winemaking at the six-generation family winery.
Emerson is the director of winemaking for Vineyard 29 in St. Helena, Calif., consults for three respected wineries and produces a proprietary Cabernet Sauvignon known as Emerson Brown. A 1999 graduate of the University of California at Davis, he served as Gundlach Bundschu associate winemaker from 2000 to 2004.
“Over the past several years, my family and I have made numerous investments in our vineyard and cellar in the relentless pursuit of our ultimate goal of producing the best estate-focused wines in Sonoma County,” said Jeff Bundschu, winery President. “Keith shares our passion and belief in our property, and after working with some of the best winemakers and growers in the business, returns to Gundlach Bundschu with a honed vision and proven capacity to make exceptional wine. And it bears stating, though we wouldnâ€™t have it any other way, that he happens to be a great guy.”
At Vineyard 29, Emerson works closely with consultant Philippe Melka on the estate and Aida labels and directs all aspects of winemaking for the CRU Napa Valley label. He also oversees the program for custom-crush clientele. It was Emerson’s experience with diverse vineyards that inspired his return to Gundlach Bundschu.
“My goal as a winemaker is to tell the story of each vineyard site,” Emerson said. “I know the Gundlach Bundschu estate, and I believe strongly in its potential to produce stellar wines. I am extremely motivated to work with Jeff and the team to take these wines to the highest quality level.”
After earning his degree, Emerson spent a year at Cakebread Cellars before joining Gundlach Bundschu. He left in 2004 to work the harvest at Palliser Estate in Martinborough, New Zealand, before returning to Northern California.