Sixth Generation Vintner and Sonoma Native, Towle Merritt, Takes the Helm as General Manager of California’s Oldest Family Owned Winery
SONOMA, CA (December 16, 2019)—Bundschu Company is pleased to welcome Towle Merritt as Vice President of Operations and General Manager of California’s oldest family-owned winery, Gundlach Bundschu. Towle will lead day-to-day business and production operations across the Bundschu Company portfolio of brands.
“Towle is one of the most dynamic leaders in the wine industry today and we are thrilled to have him join our company, especially at such a compelling time in our evolution,” says Jeff Bundschu, President of Bundschu Company and Gundlach Bundschu. “Towle’s wealth of experience, coupled with his being a member of our family’s sixth generation, will allow us to build upon our family’s heritage and legacy here at Rhinefarm while we work together to take our business to the next level.”
Towle joins Gundlach Bundschu after helping to build one of the nation’s most successful premium vineyard management companies, Walsh Vineyards Management—a company with over 600 employees, that provides vineyard services for over 5000 acres of vineyards on 170 properties in the Napa-Sonoma area.
As a graduate from Sonoma State’s Executive Wine Industry MBA program, Towle brings a wealth of industry knowledge and a fresh, innovative perspective to the position. Towle has extensive viticulture experience farming luxury wine grapes for ten of California’s lauded AVAs. He has led the conversation around luxury vineyard mechanization and digital vineyard technology as a speaker at numerous industry conferences and symposiums. This commitment claimed him a spot in Wine Business Monthly Magazine’s “Top 50 Wine Leaders” in 2018 and 2019.
Towle recognizes the momentum and achievements at Gundlach Bundschu in recent years, and “cannot wait to join an already talented team of professionals, that is continuing a tradition of independence, love for quality wine, and verve for life,” says Towle.
About Gundlach Bundschu
Established March 12, 1858, Gundlach Bundschu Winery is California’s oldest family-run winery. Currently managed by the sixth generation of the Bundschu family, the historic winery focuses on making small lots from its sustainably farmed vineyards at the base of the Mayacamas Mountain Range. Gundlach Bundschu remains focused on the future—approaching its vineyards, wine and world with spirit, creativity and dedication to excellence. For more information, please visit www.gunbun.com or connect via social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
About Bundschu Company
Based in Sonoma, California, the Bundschu Company has been producing quality wines and spirited experiences since 1858. Brands include Gundlach Bundschu, California’s oldest family-owned winery, Abbot’s Passage, a collection of small-lot, co-fermented field blends sourced from storied but oft-overlooked Sonoma vineyards, and Echo Echo, inspired by the visceral and collective power of music. Bundschu Company also produces multiple musical events yearly, including Huichica Music Festival in Sonoma and the Hudson Valley. For more information, please visit www.bundschucompany.com.