The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2010

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Page 54 of 116

NEXT-GENERATION WineMAkeRs Anne Dempsey. to see these guys, so different and yet both so successful. And I’m a good kind of blend of their sensibilities. David is very much an artist, but he’s a techni- cian when it comes to Chardonnay. Dick is a scientist.” Bradley knows what he expects from himself as a winemaker. “I like wines that get interesting in the bottle, so I want acid; but I also want to manage texture so you don’t get punished for opening wines too early. There are a lot of guys out there who find that sweet spot, but texture is what I’m hyper-focused on,” says Bradley. “I think there’s a common thread amongst all the wines I make. I really think the longer I do this, the easier it is to see ‘me’ in my wines.” Ongoing Legacy Anne Dempsey, Gundlach Bundschu Blood is thicker than water, but wine might be thicker than blood—at least for Anne Dempsey, who recently graduated to the rank of Lead Associate Winemaker at Sonoma’s Gundlach Bundschu. The 29-year-old Dempsey is the third generation in her family to work in winemaking, though following that tradition was not her initial inclination when she enrolled at U. C. Davis. However, a genetic disposition toward a viticulture and enology degree came to fruition with her graduation in 2003. After that, Dempsey worked harvests around the globe, including jags at J Vineyards & Winery and Alderbrook in Sonoma, Mud House in New Zealand and Rupert & Rothschild in South Africa. At Napa’s Clos Pegase Winery, Dempsey progressed under the tutelage of Shaun Richardson and consultant Paul Hobbs. She now works closely with GunBun’s Keith Emerson, a fellow Davis alumnus. Despite her relatively rapid rise through the ranks, Dempsey has remained circumspect about her career and learned all she could before committing to the course. “I wanted to see what it was first. The more I’ve been learning, the more I love it,” says Dempsey, who first joined Gundlach Bundschu as an enologist three years ago. “The whole philosophy of the com- 54 / the tasting panel / april 2010 pany is what drew me here. Working as a GunBun winemaker you have to learn how to adapt to its ongoing history. It’s changing over time; it’s not a five-million-dollar Napa winery that has everything laid out as you would like it. Here, you learn how to be really creative, which, in the long run, is one of the best skills to learn.” Throughout, she’s remained keenly aware of her place in the GunBun legacy, which spans over 150 years and has consequently seen dozens of winemakers pass through its cellar doors. “I hope I can add my two sentences into the long novel that they’re working on,” says Dempsey. “It feels like being a part of their family. Working for someone you respect to carry on their legacy is some- thing I feel proud to be a part of.” PHOTO: PETER GRIFFITH

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