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Malbec and Sauvignon Blanc
Gustavo Brambila’s Story
As the son of a migrant vineyard worker turned winery mechanic, Gustavo grew up surrounded by the culture, the passion, and the dedication of the individuals who helped to define this now famous wine making region. Gustavo immigrated to the Napa Valley from Jalisco, Mexico at the tender age of 3. His family settled in Rutherford and put down deep roots a move that forever altered the path for Gustavo. Wine the soil, the climate, the fruit and the people who labored to produce it made an impression.
Gustavo went to the University of Oregon on a baseball scholarship, but it was a short-lived adventure his heart remained in wine country. He transferred to U.C. Davis, and was one of the first Latino graduates from the oenology program with a degree in Fermentation Sciences. After graduating in 1976, Gustavo spent a year at Chateau Montelena, and then joined Mike Grgich as he opened Grgich Hills Cellars in 1977 where Gustavo made wines for 23 years.
In 1976, Napa Valley looked a lot different than it does today. California winemakers had yet to prove themselves on a global stage. When a Paris-based wine shop owner traveled to the region to challenge Napa Valley winemakers to a blind tasting against their French counterparts, that all changed. Winemakers from the sleepy,
bucolic Napa Valley scored a shocking victory at the Judgment of Paris” and put California wines on the map. Chateau Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay would take first place in the white varietal tasting, and that story became the inspiration for a 2008 film. Bottle Shock” certainly took some creative license but the essence of the story is true. And actor Freddy Rodriquez who portrayed Gustavo captured his passion and his dedication to the art of making fine wines.
Gustavo has produced wine under his own label since 1996.
Today, Gustavo makes Napa Valley wines in a style inspired by old-world winemaking techniques, with a dedication to small vineyards and the highest quality fruit.