Friday, December 31, 2010
Grgich Hills Estate Winery
We recently had the pleasure of visiting the Grgich Hills Estate winery in Napa Valley, California. Having already visited the small and understated Grgich winery on the Peljesac Peninsula in Croatia, our expectations were tempered. However, upon arriving at the family winery just off of St. Helena Highway in Rutherford we immediately realized we were in for a pleasant surprise. The winery and tasting room is housed in a large, rustic building with beautiful surroundings. The winery’s Croatian history is clear to anyone familiar with the Croatian flag; the highly recognizable red & white check motif is used in abundance throughout the estate.
The Grgich Hills tasting room is one of the most popular in Napa, owing to its famous owner’s international recognition at the celebrated Paris tasting of 1976. Then, in a blind tasting, a panel of distinguished French judges chose Mike Grgich’s 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay as the finest white wine in the world. This stunning achievement helped to legitimize California’s bourgeoning wine industry and to launch the Grgich Hills Winery. Grgich Hills Winery became Grgich Hills Estate Winery in 2003 when it began producing wine only from its own vineyards, which are all certified organic and biodynamic. Unlike many of its neighbors, Grgich has resisted the temptation to grow large, but instead concentrates on achieving a consistently superior level of quality. Having tasted several wines on my visit to the winery, I can attest to Grgich’s success in this regard.