• The winery had a cult status with their fans and sales through their tasting room
  • Restaurants and sommeliers did not take the winery seriously because of their cheesy labels and whimsical approach to branding
  • The winery owners and family were too emotionally attached to the funky labels including cherubs, local art, and bear illustrations
  • The family assumed their fans wouldn't buy their wines because it would change the vibe of the winery
  • They did not have an e-commerce website and depended on wine club memberships to circumvent online wine sales  


  • James met the heir of the winemaker at the tasting room and hit it off instantly
  • Jeff Bundschu and James travelled to France to taste wines and meet winemakers
  • James was taught the process of making wines during "crush" (typically defined as picking and crushing the grape)
  • The Bundschu's invited James to dig into family history, albums, and attics to find inspiration for the brand redesign
  • James found old logos in the attic from pre-and-post prohibition era when the wine was sold as "medicine"
  • James made it to Sonoma as much as possible to be a part of the wine community - so the new brand will connect with the culture


  • The heir of the winemaker, Jeff Bundschu, was taking over the business and with met James frequently to discuss strategy, vision, and ROI
  • James convinced the "detractors" - who did not want change - to first see this as a research project
  • Jeff and James "ran the numbers" to show what would happen if the rebrand moved-the-needle at best and worst case scenarios
  • At various stages and user testing on bottles, James created over 50 different wine label designs to show California wine sommeliers
  • James placed top designs on the market shelves and watched people react in the store (ambush user experience method)
  • Created a business case for change with solid insights and research data to support the return on investment
  • Created a total brand solution and marketing materials including wine label, e-commerce website, brochures, and style guides for two of the Gundlach Bundschu brands (including Bartholomew Park Winery)
  • Organized the launch party at the winery with bands, press, and local wine-makers


  • Cult-following fans loved that their winery was "growing up" and became more devoted fans
  • Restauranteurs and sommeliers took Gundlach Bundschu seriously and started to present the wine to their customers
  • The winery was able to charge more for their wines because the brand matched the quality (premium to ultra-premium leap)
  • The winery became [quite impressively] profitable after the brand overhaul and new marketing efforts
  • This brand relaunch paired with the announcement of Jeff Bundschu to lead the winery was a perfect transition from father to son

Tasks Required to Accomplish Goals

  • Field research
  • Wine Label Prototyping
  • Branding
  • Project Management
  • Website Development
  • E-commerce Design and Development
  • Wine Tastings!