“You cannot just plant an
Old Vine Vineyard”

Planted in 1900, the Gamba Estate Vineyard in the Russian River Valley grows some amazing fruit. Old Vine vineyards are a tradeoff, choosing quality over quantity. With a production of only 1/2 – 1 ton per acre, the resulting grapes from the Gamba Estate Vineyard impart a concentration and depth of character that cannot be duplicated from young vines. (A Zinfandel vineyard at it’s peak produces about 5 – 7 tons per acre.)

When you combine the small production with the labor-intensive, sustainable farming practices Gus Gamba employs, it makes one wonder if it’s worth the effort.  That question evaporates once you open a bottle and take a sip, and you’re just glad that someone is making a wine like this.

Gamba bottling line

Bottling 2011 Gamba Estate Old Vine Zinfandel

GAMBA Vineyards and Winery has just released its new 2011 GAMBA ESTATE OLD VINE ZINFANDEL, one of our most popular Zins. At the rate the 2010 sold out last year, it is highly recommend you get yours sooner rather than later.


Gamba Estate Vineyard – Russian River Valley

$40 per bottle ($480 per case)
(Reg. $45)

(To place an order, click the button below to send us an email with contact information and your order.)





Gamba 2011 Estate Old Vine Zinfandel

Gamba 2011 Estate Old Vine Zinfandel

Winemaker’s Tasting Notes:

Deep garnet in color with a cherry preserve nose, highlighted by red plum and dried cranberry, this wine promises a classic expression of Zinfandel on the palate. Beginning with an appealing mix of spicy berry aromas and flavors, the wine expands into medium to full bodied ripe briary fruit of plum, black cherry, earth minerals, and white pepper.

The texture is silky smooth, with elegant tannins, integrated with a subtle brown spice. The long cherry kirsch-filled finish is punctuated by firm but gentle tannins. With ample acidity, the balanced framework, effusive fruit, and a smooth lingering finish, this wine will drink wonderfully for several years to come.

2011 Growing season:

In 2011, careful canopy management was the key to the success of our overall crop. We continue our vigilant work in the vineyards, watching over our blocks carefully and working continually to insure the best fruit possible from each vintage. Early in the season, we thinned the canopy, diminishing the demand on the old vines considerably by dropping fruit to encourage even ripening and good air circulation.

The adequate ripening conditions during the season allowed steady flavor development, and in conjunction with our cultural practices, gave us the potential for full flavored wines with balanced alcohol levels.

The harvest period provided plenty of time for our blocks to be picked individually and at optimum maturity, allowing us the luxury of separate extended macerations, fully extracting color and flavors from the skins. We are excited to share the resulting wines; they are fruit driven, and produced flavors that are complex and well balanced.


Keeping in the spirit of this organic, dry farmed vineyard, the must was not inoculated for fermentation, relying instead upon naturally occurring ambient indigenous yeasts. The whole berries undergo a cool, extended maceration, prior to fermentation, to generate maximum skin contact and extract fruit character. After a long but steady fermentation, the free run was kept and aged separately from the press fraction. After aging for 14 months, the bench trials from each lot were initiated to achieve the target master finished wine.

Paulette and Gus Gamba

Paulette and Gus Gamba

2009 Vintage – Russian River Valley
A Stellar Year for GAMBA Zins

2009 was an outstanding year for the Gamba family and their Russian River Valley Zinfandels.  These may be some of the best Zinfandels that Gus Gamba has made in his 10-year wine making career.

Gamba Zin Gold MedalAll three wines received Gold Medals at the prestigious Orange County Wine Competition.  The OCWC is one of the most highly regarded wine competitions in the country.  In addition, the new 2009 GAMBA Russian River Valley Zinfandel was the recipient of the 4 Star Special Recognition Gold Medal.  Quite a feather in the cap of this small family owned and operated Russian River Valley winery!


George Bato and Gus Gamba

George Bato and Gus Gamba

With the release of the 2009 GAMBA Russian River Valley Zinfandel, this year’s Gamba portfolio of wines is complete.  In a recent tasting, all three wines showed magnificently, to be enjoyed now, or cellar for another 5-7 years.

Maybe it’s the fact that Gus spends most of his time in the vineyards, or maybe it’s just  decades experience and knowing what to do with the fruit that Mother Nature gives him in any given year.  Whatever the reason, Gus Gamba is firing on all cylinders!

GAMBA 2009 Russian River Valley Zinfandel

The wine is made from old vines from a few select blocks of local and
family-owned vineyards, combined with some carefully chosen younger
vine fruit.

Think Triple Berry Pie
Inviting aromas of ripe cherries, raspberries, blueberries, spice, and clean
earth emerge from the glass.  The nuances were accentuated on the palate
with added notes of Bing cherry, loganberry, dark chocolate, white pepper,
and allspice.

Rich, jammy and delicious! The bright minerality and acidity keep the
wine in balance without being overly ripe.  Med-to-full bodied, round, and
lush with silky tannins, natural acidity, and subtle vanilla oak lead to a
long, lingering finish. YUM!

Once again, harmonious balance makes this a food friendly wine, or
delicious on its own.  Immensely Satisfying!  ($35)

GAMBA 2009 Gamba Estate Old Vine Zinfandel

The flagship wine for GAMBA Vineyards and Winery, this wine comes from the 110 year-old Gamba Estate Vineyard.  Gus farms this vineyard with meticulous attention, and only gets about 1/2 to 3/4 tons per acre.  However, the remaining cluster produce fruit of incredible intensity and flavor. 

Almost opaque in color, aromas of Bing cherry and dark plum lead to impressive flavors of Bing cheery, raspberry, clove, clean earth and spice.  Full-bodied, concentrated with depth of Old Vine Zinfandel character.  ($40)

GAMBA 2009 Moratta Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel

This is a hedonistic, juicy, sexy fruit bomb!  The wine has a vibrant, deep purple color with ruby edges; heady aromas of blackberry, Bing cherry and sweet raspberry liqueur.  Jammy flavors of Bing cherry, blackberry, chocolate, and white pepper are wrapped in gripping tannins, with good acidity that lead to a memorable finish.  Rich, voluptuous, juicy, nicely balanced, and such a pleasurable wine. It’s all about balance.

This is a perfect wine to pair with a juicy, medium-rare, Bone-in Rib Eye steak on the grill…or burgers, or pizza for that matter.  ($40)

If you’re a fan of rich, delicious Zinfandel,
treat yourself and try these gems



Putting Your Name On The Label…
A Sign Of Commitment To Quality

Agostino and Paulette Gamba with DogsWhen Agostino Gamba, Jr. decided to put the Gamba Family moniker on the label, he made a commitment to doing everything in his power to grow and  produce the best wines possible.  Having known Agostino Gamba, Jr. and his wife Paulette over 10 years, I have witnessed their  singular focus and dedication year in and year out.  And not just with the wine making.   Gus is a family man first a foremost, second only to his dedication to farming the vineyards.  He takes his responsibility as a steward of the land very seriously.

Today Gus and Paulette carry on the Gamba Family tradition, and have carved out the perfect wine country niche for their family.  Their 105-year old Estate Vineyard located in the Russian River Valley only produces about 1/2 – 3/4 tons per acre, a minuscule amount.   Think of your tomato plant only producing a one or two tomatoes each year.  Most people pull out these low-yielding vines to plant younger more vigorous vines that produce much more fruit, about 4-6 tons per acre.  The payoff with Old Vine Zinfandel is the rich, complex and intense flavors that could not be duplicated any other way.  You can’t simply plant an Old Vine Vineyard.

Red grape clusterThese century-old vines are tended with meticulous care by Gus and a couple of workers that includes hand hoeing between the rows of vines, strict attention to canopy management, and considerable thinning of the vines which entails dropping of fruit.  He adheres to strict sustainable farming practices and does not use pesticides or herbicides.

The vineyard is their backyard and a family heirloom, so he watches over the vines with loving care.  The result is some of the best Old Vine Russian River Zinfandel on the planet.

It just doesn’t get much better than this!