Gustavo Brambila

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Gustavo Brambila
NationalityMexican American

Gustavo Brambila (born 1953) is a Mexican-American winemaker in the Napa Valley.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Jalisco, Mexico in 1953 and moved with his family to Rutherford in the Napa Valley in 1957.[1]


Brambila earned a degree in fermentation science at the University of California, Davis, one of the first Latinos to do so.[2][3] In 1976 he was hired by Mike Grgich at Chateau Montelena where he assisted in quality control. He joined just after the events covered in Bottle Shock. Brambila followed Grgich when Grgich Hills Cellar was created in 1977. He worked there for 23 years before leaving in 1999 to become the general manager and winemaker at Peju Province Winery.[4]

In 1996, he teamed up with Thrace Bromberger to form Gustavo Wine, which was making 3,800 cases in 2004 and 7,000 cases in 2008.[1][5] They produce a mix of Merlot, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Barbera, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon. They also own the Napa Wine Merchants cooperative tasting room as well as several thousand acres in the Chiles Valley.[5][6]

Since 2002, he has consulted with Taylor Family Vineyards on their Cabernet Sauvignon.[4] In 2008, he began crafting private label wines for the Wine Pod, an automated wine presser and fermenter.[7]

Bottle Shock[edit]

Brambila was portrayed by Freddy Rodriguez in the 2008 indie film Bottle Shock. In the film, the character is directly involved in the 1976 tasting although in reality, he was not. He worked in the lab on quality control.[1] Brambila spent time with Rodriguez before filming.[2] Since the film was released, there has been a noticeable increase in business at his winery.[8]


  1. ^ a b c Goldfarb, Alan (August 27, 2008). "Bottle Shocked: Uncorking the Real Gustavo Brambila". Appellation America. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
  2. ^ a b Sloane, Judy. "The Movie: Bottle Shock". Retrieved 2009-03-29.
  3. ^ Caputo, Tina (January 2002). "The changing face of the California wine industry". Retrieved 2009-03-29.
  4. ^ a b "Winemaker Bios: Gustavo Brambila" (PDF). Taylor Vineyards. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
  5. ^ a b Emert, Carol (October 7, 2004). "Labels with roots in Mexico: 13 companies represent a groundswell of Latino winemakers". San Francisco Chronicle. pp. F-3. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
  6. ^ Franson, Paul (January 6, 2003). "Mexican families make name in wine business after toiling in the background". Retrieved 2009-03-29.
  7. ^ "WinePod Announces Partnership with Napa's Gustavo Thrace Winery" (PDF). November 7, 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 15, 2011. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
  8. ^ "Indie Film Hit BOTTLE SHOCK" Defies Industry Expectations & Means Good Business For Wine Country". Freestyle Releasing. September 17, 2008. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-29.