Great Wines Start with the Grapes: Gamble Family Vineyards Tradition Continues

By Tom Marquardt and Patrick Darr

When we caught up with Tom Gamble, he was walking along the vineyards with his cell phone in one hand and a Leatherman tool in the other. As he talked to us for nearly an hour, we could hear him lopping off bunches of grapes too green to ever reach maturity by harvest. It is a place where he is most at ease despite the pressure that an impending harvest has to his bottom line.


Gamble can walk as many as five miles a day during growing season to tend to the 175 acres of Napa Valley vines that make up Gamble Family Vineyards. Often toting a binder of contracts, maps and legal documents, today he is more focused on the business end than he was when he tended a variety of crops for previous generations. No matter how much the details of running a business cram his mind, his heart is still in farming.

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