Have you ever seen the movie Bottle Shock? If you like wine, I recommend you see it asap. It's about a 1976 blind tasting competition between French wines and California wines, which kind of sounds totally boring, but it's more about the time leading up to the competition. It centers around Chateau Montelena, a failing winery in the Napa Valley as well as a struggling immigrant, Gustavo Brambila who works the fields there.
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Jim and I love this movie, so two years ago for his birthday, I surprised him with a trip to Napa to see Chateau Montelena as well as GustavoThrace, the winery that Gustavo Brambila eventually established with his business partner Thrace Bromberger.
Anyway, long story short, we loved GustavoThrace and we vowed to return as soon as we could.
Well, it's been two years and we just managed to find the time to do it. And only because they offered a living social deal for it (interestingly, the same day I found the one for Monterey). We were beyond excited and knew we had to do it.
And it hadn't changed a bit. At least in the good ways. The firs time we went down, we were treated more like family than customers. And upon meeting the rest of Gustavo's family, we learned that that's just the way they do things. They're not like most businesses that put money before any thing else. They put people first. Then wine. And the, because everyone's gotta eat, money.
But back to the event. It was their first annual, so everyone was new to the process. They decided to have a little fun with it instead of people just jumping in buckets and smushing grapes between their toes. When we arrived, we chose a colored bandana that identified which team we would be on. Over the course of our time there, we were to create a label for our new wine, which was a merlot and after the stomping was over, the labels were all judged and a winner chosen based on creativity, presentation and design.
And our group won! I wish I'd taken a photo of our label, but I did get one of all of our team with Gustavo.
And I got a few of the stomping itself.
In the bucket:
It was actually quite chilly and the stems poked my feet. It was definitely an interesting new experience. I'd do it again. :)
Ok, I know I'm backed up...a whole weekend to be exact. But last weekend's post is comin up soon!