Published on 27-10-2021
Winemaker Profile: Tedeschi Family Winery
David Sundberg

Winemaker. Winemaking. Wine. The words conjure romance, glamour, glorious fall nights by a toasty fire. In actuality, the process of winemaking is a lengthy and arduous task but one that suits David Sundberg perfectly. As the resident winemaker at Tedeschi Family Winery for the past eleven years, Sundberg understands the nuances of modern winemaking including things like large and small harvests, drought years, wildfires, and so much more.
Today, Tedeschi Family Winery produces around 2,000 cases per year – up from just a couple hundred cases a decade ago – with varietals that include both a Napa Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc, a Primitivo, a rosé, a Viognier and, of course, their flagship Petite Sirah among others. Along the way, Sundberg has been there to guide the family, eventually taking over as head winemaker.

He is well equipped to lead the charge, given a degree in enology from California State Fresno. Armed with his degree and a fair amount of experience thanks to the school’s 300-ton winery set-up, Sundberg jumped head first into his career, making wine for Ste. Michelle Estates, Elara, Conn Creek and Villa Mt. Eden. To broaden his industry scope, Sundberg uprooted himself, relocating to Chile to make wine for a small family winery in the Maipo Valley. Returning to the States with fresh knowledge and an international perspective, Sundberg continued to hone his winemaking skills while consulting for wineries that included Ottimino, William Knuttel Wines and Tedeschi Family Winery.

The very family-oriented nature of Tedeschi appealed to Sundberg and he fell into an easy rapport with patriarch, Emil Tedeschi. Possessing a similar winemaking style that strives for balance, and one that reflects the character of the individual varietal, Sundberg and Tedeschi built a mutual respect for one another. Over the years, Sundberg’s knowledge of the industry and winemaking aptitude have helped Tedeschi Family Winery grow their production with increasing quality in each passing vintage. 

“Emil and the family have a winemaking style that is similar to mine and this is why it’s been such a joy to work with them over the years,” said Sundberg who went on to describe the wines as refined. “We aim for restraint. Big, overripe wines are not a part of our flavor profile.”
It seems to be working as the winery’s club has been growing by leaps and bounds with the wines being “well received” by locals and visitors alike. The tasting room is now open by appointment, making a visit a more relaxing and enjoyable experience for all parties.  

“We look forward to guests touring the winery and tasting our wines,” said Sundberg who encourages people to check the website for upcoming events or to make reservations.

A bit of a jack of all trades, Sundberg is also a talented chef who is as passionate about food as he is about winemaking. In his down time, he lives in Santa Rosa with his wife and two young sons.

Tedeschi Family Winery is located at 2779 Grant Street, Calistoga, just a half a mile south of Old Faithful Geyser. Visitors are invited to the winery Monday-Saturday by appointment from 10:30 a.m.  to 5 p.m. for tasting.  There is no commercial signage, so look for the address and a big barrel to enjoy the winery’s private setting and picnic area!


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