The First 100 Years

Family owned and operated, Kunde Family Winery produces ultra-premium, estate-grown, and sustainably farmed wines in the finest traditions of the renowned Sonoma Valley. Our founder, Louis Kunde, who emigrated from Germany, acquired the Wildwood Vineyards ranch with its acclaimed iron-rich, ancient red volcanic soils in 1904. These vineyards were first planted in 1879 by pioneer John Drummond with imported cuttings from Chateaux Margaux and Lafite Rothschild. Upon Louis' death in 1922, the winery and vineyards were taken over by his son, Arthur “Big Boy” Kunde. Big Boy kept the winery open during the difficult times of Prohibition by selling “sacramental” wines, and though he continued to grow grapes through World War II, he was forced to close the winery doors when his sons were drafted into service. Throughout the 1960's and '70's, two of Big Boy's sons, Bob and Fred, greatly expanded the Kunde Estate, adding the esteemed Kinneybrook Ranch in 1977. Planting hundreds of acres to prime varietals, their hard work and savvy business decisions laid the groundwork for building the Kunde Family Winery and aging caves in the early 1990’s.
In October 2004, three-generations of the Kunde family gathered with friends to celebrate our 100th harvest, and to honor all the hard work and dedication that came through us and before us. As we enter the next century of winegrowing, the fourth and fifth generation family members remain hands-on proprietors. We now oversee an operation comprised of our state-of-the-art winemaking facility and 1,850 contiguous acres, of which 700 acres are planted to more than twenty different varieties of wine grapes.

Highlights in Kunde History

1879: Captain John Drummond plants first vines on the property with imported cuttings of Cabernet Sauvignon from Chateau Margaux and Lafite Rothschild and creates Drummond Vineyard.
1879: James Shaw plants Wildwood Vineyard to Zinfandel.
1904: Louis Kunde purchases the 1,000-acre Wildwood Vineyards and crushes first Estate harvest.
1915: Louis Kunde wins two gold medals for his Wildwood Vineyards wines at the Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.
1920: Prohibition begins. Winery continues to make wine under Reg. #30 by manufacturing, purchasing and selling “non-beverage wine” or sacramental wines.
1922: Upon Louis' death, the winery and vineyards are turned over to 2nd generation Arthur “Big Boy” Kunde.
1933: Prohibition ends. Big Boy Kunde continues to make wine until the start of World of War II, when his sons leave the ranch to fight the war.
1955: Big Boy Kunde turns ranch management over to 3rd generation Kunde Family, Bob and Fred, who expanded the ranch to its current 1,850 acres.
1960s: Bob and Fred Kunde begin expanding the vineyards, focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
1977: Bob and Fred Kunde buy the neighboring 850-acre Kinneybrook Ranch.
1989: Kunde family announces plan to build Kunde Family Winery and aging caves.
1990: First crush at the new Kunde Family Winery.
1991: Kunde releases its first wines under the Kunde Family label.
2004: The Kunde family celebrates its 100th family harvest in the Sonoma Valley.