In 1986, Squire and Suzy Fridell packed up their three-year old daughter and all their worldly goods to trade the freeways and the sand of Southern California for the back roads and fertile soil of Sonoma Valley. They purchased twenty-six acres of raw land, just north of the Village of Glen Ellen. The gentle rolling hills were covered with poison oak, oak trees, manzanita trees, madrone trees, bay trees, and a few redwoods. They cut a few of the trees and put in a road, got poison oak, dug a well and brought in power, got more poison oak, built their Cottage, hand-planted two acres of grapevines, and got a lot more poison oak. After a year of Calamine lotion, itching, and cottage living, they got rid of most of the poison oak, built their new home on top of the hill, started building their winery, planted a second vineyard and created a new life for themselves.
Gundlach Bundschu is California’s oldest continuously family-owned winery, originally founded in 1858 by Jacob Gundlach. It is located 5 minutes from the historic Sonoma Plaza.. Today it is owned and operated by the 6th generation of Bundschu’s and known for being a place to bring families and to have fun. They specialize in making distinctive estate grown wines and typically showcase music on their property so you and your family can enjoy a fun-filled family experience. Beautiful grounds to picnic areas and plenty of places to walk around to see the history of the property are encouraged. They specialize in their red wines, but also showcase their chardonnays and roses. Many different tour offerings can be selected from a Pinzgauer tour to the historic winery tour. A lot is here to sample and see for the visitor and all ages.