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epicurean film // Gun Bun x BUNK

We took a day trip down to Portland, Oregon to catch up with Huichica Music Festival co-founder and Fruitbats frontman Eric D. Johnson and Portland’s famous BUNK Sandwiches chef Tommy Habetz.  The two talked endlessly about their mutual love for sandwiches and rock and roll—we managed to capture a few tidbits along with details on Tommy’s sandwich pairing with Gundlach Bundschu’s Mountain Cuvée wine at this year’s upcoming Huichica Music Festival.

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Huichica Music Festival
presented by Jeff Bundschu, Gundlach Bundschu Winery
and Eric D. Johnson, Fruit Bats

film by
The Art Dept.

Muffuletta sandwich by
BUNK Sandwiches

music by
Jeff Bundschu

video // Fried Egg I’m In Love

We finally had a chance to take a leave of absence from the home offices and travel down to Portland for a visit with our good friends at Fried Egg I’m In Love.

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award-winning video // A Brief History of Merlot

First—credit where credit is due. Once upon a time a wonderful, whimsical, wry little nugget of a narrative seeded itself in the brain of Gundlach Bundschu Winery Marketing Director Susan Sueiro. Perhaps (just maybe) after sipping on a glass of Gun Bun Merlot—a come-hither, ruby slipper of a wine, that—under the right circumstances—transports you over the rainbow. It’s no laughing matter, this wine. It’s just, well, much maligned. How to tell its story with winks rather than winces?

After what we can only imagine was a richly inspirational foray sliding down various rainbows, one of the things Susan did after putting fingers to keyboard was to call us. And we’re so glad she did. Our own Art Director Peter and Susan together finessed the script and shot list so as to make it possible to capture in one day, Peter clicked his heels down to California and ta-dah, they did it. One day. By jove. Peter behind the lens, Susan directing, coordinating scenes, costumes, wings, prayers and wine.

Back home Peter edited, nipped, tucked and nipped some more. Refined the flow and polished the audio, added graphics and selected the songs. Creative Director Sarah said things like, “That looks good,” and “Nuh-uh” and “But…” (She was pregnant anyways.) Peter burned the midnight oil night after night. He felt he owed it to Merlot. And Susan. And rainbows.

Their efforts paid off. Last month A Brief History of Merlot nabbed Wine Spectator’s 2012 Annual Video Contest.

A Brief History of Merlot humorously depicts the trials and tribulations of a varietal misunderstood—even shunned—in the aftermath of the movie Sideways, before its redemptive return to greatness.

After its debut in March of this year, A Brief History of Merlot quickly went viral on YouTube—accruing nearly 20,000 hits in a matter of weeks as major media outlets and blogs across the wine world shared in collective laughter before passing it along. It currently boasts more than 36,000 views.

The video was then submitted to Wine Spectator’s sixth annual video contest this August, where it won the popular vote. According to Wine Spectator, this year’s competition drew entries from all over the world and broke the record for the largest number of voters.

So there you have it. The little Art Dept. video that could. Proving that anything is possible if you put a little blood, sweat and tears into it.

Thanks to all the voters out there who displayed phenomenal taste in choosing A Brief History of Merlot. Thanks to our creative friends at GunBun for having faith in us, for their good wine and their great storytelling.

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video // CULT TACOMA : 1022 South

We produced further content for Cult Tacoma—this time featuring the epicurean artisanship of Tacoma’s 1022 South owner Chris Keil.  To illustrate Chris’s philosophy and approach behind 1022 South’s cocktail alchemy, we captured his process for creating the hand-carved ice used in the drinks.  As Sarah, who also shot and edited the video, writes for Cult Tacoma:

Nobody is asking Chris to dismantle 150-pound slabs into rugged, fist-sized rocks customized purely for patrons’ drinking pleasure. It’s a choice—and admittedly, a good one. Each a diamond in the rough, winking up at you from your glass with the self-sufficient pluckiness of a Klondike gold miner and the crystalline purity of glacier melt.

But melt is what they won’t do—at least too fast anyways.

“You’re going to notice a difference in flavor because of the difference in dilution,” says Keil. “You’re going to be able to enjoy your beverage more, whatever the drink is. It’s going to honor the ingredients more. It’s better quality ice. If you start with better quality ingredients, you end up with a better product.”

Read more here . . .

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Cult Tacoma

1022 South

“Grand Daddy Blues” by
Jelly Jaw Short

video // Turkey Loves Gewürz

Turkey and Gewürz—love at first sight.

Gundlach Bundschu Winery is not a winery known for its subtlety. Boasting every sort of farce and frolick under its 152-year-old belt— from hijacking the Napa Wine Train to kidnapping Sir Richard Branson—Gun Bun, the oldest family-run winery in California, is rather adored for its puckish reputation as much as for legendary wines such as Gewürztraminer. (In Wine Country, there’s an inveterate truth that you’ll surely fail a sobriety test if you can’t properly pronounce “Gundlach Bundschu Gewürztraminer.” )

So, in the end, it only made sense that the fine people at Gun Bun called us up the other day to impart, “We want to dress Jeff Bundschu up in a turkey costume and have you film some videos about how well holiday turkeys go with our Gewürztraminer!”

Above is the first of three short videos we shot and edited about a turkey and his unquenchable thirst for Gundlach Bundschu Gewürztraminer.

And below are the second and third—Turkey Bowling taken to a whole new level and a refreshing plunge into Gewurz, respectively:

video // eat good food!

We could spend days lost in the aisles of San Francisco’s Bi-Rite Market—exploring every nook and cranny from the gorgeous produce to the unique artisanal products.  And we were able to do just that while creating this video.  We love Bi-Rite’s emphasis on good food and food community—and we’re happy to help spread the word about their new book (below) with this video (above)!

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The Great Pinzgauer Adventure

Why tour when you can DETOUR?

Gundlach Bundschu vineyard excursions get you off the beaten wine path to taste wines where they are grown.  And we were excited to join them on the tour with our cameras in hand to capture the experience—car bingo, hawaiian bobbleheads, African watusis, wine and all.

Enjoy the video above (produced by Sarah + Peter) and be sure to take the tour next time you have the chance—see the flyer below (designed by Mary)!

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Beer in Sonoma

We were recently commissioned by Sonomanews.com to update an old SONOMA magazine story Sarah had written and supplement it with a short video covering the subject of local craft beer in Sonoma.  With our love for writing, filming and beer, we did not hesitate to say “yes!”

“Ah, the alchemy of good beer. Water, yeast, malted grain, hops. It feels like such a quaint equation, and yet prattling off those four ingredients is where the simplicity ends and the darkling tide of chemistry begins, chemistry from which—after a thousand bubbly incantations—our muse emerges from behind steel and oak. There’s a primitive comfort to good beer’s complexity. While wine strives to tether its story to a geographic place, beer makes a humble home in its glass. Surely, it can be regional, but at its best, good beer is drink for the deconstructionist.

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video // A Good Baker

One of our favorite things about living in Sonoma is the bread.  Our community is lucky to have one of the world’s greatest bakers making bread just for us!  Take a look at the short feature we produced on the subject above for Cult Sonoma, which writes:

There is gravity to a good bit of bread—it carries a sort of sacramental heft that doesn’t fool around. The way the outside shatters like a mosaic as you take a carnal rip off the crust, or the way it springs forth like a cloud into your mouth, swirled with a slug of olive oil. Great bread tethers you to your mortal coil—to your teeth and tongue and bones and blood and the all the things and conversations going on around you. It keeps you from floating away into the zeitgeist and leaving nothing but status updates to show for it. Pair it with nice beer, friendly people and some amicable herbs and vegetables and you pretty much have another reason to live.

This is why we have vaulted Sonoma’s Mike [the bejkr] Zakowski to the echelon of artisanal god. What can we say? He maketh good loaves, the sort of bread that bores into your psyche, the sort that would keep ancient fishermen alive when adrift at sea or something. I guess what we’re trying to say is that there are a lot of breads out there, but his breads feels divinely necessary.

“Every town needs a good baker,” intones Mike from the shipping container in his backyard he’s converted to a professional, artisinal bread-baking shop.  We agree and we feel very blessed that Sonoma’s good baker is Mike!

Please try Mike’s bread for yourself if you get an opportunity—look for him at Sonoma Valley’s farmers markets. We look forward to a lot more from Mike as he prepares to represent the U.S. in the 2012 World Cup of baking in Paris
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music mixed by
Max Lynch

video : Auteur Winery

Few products in our marketplace harbor such a poignant, rounded evolution as wine. If you approach winemaking in the right way, you marry your skills to minerals and weather patterns, long-forgotten volcanoes and riverbeds, the unspoken arc of sun and the eventual movement from light-drenched hillsides to the cool cocoon of casks and caves. You bear witness to the grapes’ transformation, and you do your best to preserve the story of their raw ingredients. It’s time and place in a glass.

Auteur, one of Sonoma’s highly regarded boutique wineries, radiates this understanding of winemaking. This year, the winery celebrates the release of some of winemaker/owner Kenneth Juhasz’s long-awaited estate wines as well the rebirth of their logo and label. Whether it’s that culminating moment that heralds a midnight harvest or the subtle interplay of colors in a new design, Kenneth and Laura understand the importance of process—that a million hand-wrought nuances distinguish great wine from good wine.

We had the privilege to work with them over the course of a few months as they embarked on their own sort of transformation. Here we captured a glimpse of the story of their wine. It’s also worth mentioning we highly recommend the wine. The view from a glass of Auteur is pretty stunning.

Click through to see some more photos!

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