Sonoma County Barrel Auction Honors Icons of Wine

By BILL SWINDELL

The Sonoma County Vintners association will honor three winemaking veterans at the annual Sonoma County Barrel Auction Friday at the Vintners Inn.

“The Sonoma County wine landscape has been shaped by a long line of trailblazing visionaries and it is important that the region honor these three modern icons,” said Jean Arnold Sessions, the trade group’s executive director, in a statement.

The honorees are:

Jim Bundschu of Gundlach Bundschu Winery in Sonoma. Bundschu in 1969 started replanting vineyards on his family’s lot, and a year later became president of the revived Gundlach Bundschu Winery. The winery has since created a name as one of the most well-known family wineries in the area, with a focus on sustainable winemaking.

Jim Pedroncelli of the Pedroncelli Winery in Geyserville. In 1963, Pedroncelli and his brother, John, bought the winery and he took over as head of its sales and marketing department. Pedroncelli was among the first to add “Sonoma” to its wine label. He has served on the board of the Wine Institute, the Sonoma County Vintners Co-Op and the Sonoma County Winery Association, the precursor to the vintners group.

Angelo Sangiacomo of Sangiacomo Family Vineyards in Sonoma. Sangiacomo helped move his family’s business in the 1960s from growing pears to growing grapes. The company now has more than 1,600 acres of planted vineyards in Sonoma County, one of the largest in the area. He was also a pioneer in establishing vineyard designated and single vineyard wines.