top of page
Freddy Rodriguez plays Gustavo Brambila in the Movie Bottle Shock!

Against the backdrop of the turbulent 70's and in the shadow of the French who had dominated the world's viticulture and viniculture for centuries; these "hicks from the sticks" rose up for California; for America; for wine. And the world of wine was never the same.

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, British Parisian wine shop owner Steve Spurrier (Alan Rickman) 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 our wines on the map.

Chateau Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay was among the winners, 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.


Bo and Gustavo Brambila, played by Freddy Rodriguez, are portrayed as close friends, with Bo as the prankster and Gustavo as the serious one.


The two struck up a friendship in the 1970s, although Gustavo was not actually involved at all with Chateau Montelena’s win at the Paris Wine Tasting.

Gustavo, one of the first Latinos to earn a degree in fermentation science from the University of California, Davis, was hired by winemaker Mike Grgich to do quality control in 1976, although it was after the famed tasting.

Bo and Gustavo remain close friends to this day.

Gustavo is still passioned and dedicated to the art of making fine wines.

bottom of page