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Grgich Hills Estate
Famous Winemaker's Rutherford CA Winery
Napa Valley & Sonoma Wine Tasting Tours
Croatian-born Winemaker Milijenko “Mike” Grgich soared to worldwide fame in 1976 when a wine he created—the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay—won First Place at the now-historic “Judgment of Paris” (beating out top French white Burgundies in the process).
A year later he co-founded Grgich Hills with Austin Hills, a vineyard owner and businessman. Today Mike Grgich is a member of the prestigious Vintner Hall of Fame.
The winery owns five Napa Valley vineyards for a total of 366 acres; all are farmed biodynamically, created the nation’s largest biodynamic vineyard acreage.
Most tastings occur in the small, rustic tasting room with its stacked barrels and wooden bar. The handsome Wine Library is used for sit-down tastings and pairings, or private events. Tasting include a souvenir glass.
If you’re adventurous, consider visiting Grgich Hills during harvest for a bit of grape stomping (it’s free, but count on getting messy). Another idea: sign up for the Napa Valley Wine Train package that stops at Grgich for a private tour and tasting.
Growing up on the Dalmatian coast in an ancient winemaking family, Grgich was weaned on a 50-50 mixture of red wine and water; he stomped his first grapes at age three.
Amenities: Wine Clubs, Gift Shop, Barrel Tastings (Fridays only), Pairing, Biodynamic tour, Grape stomping (during harvest only)