Cheers May 2016

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 51 16 • May 2016 c roatian-born winemaker Miljenko "Mike" Grgich fi rst gained international recognition at the celebrated 1976 Paris Tasting, a.k.a the Judgement of Paris. At the now-historic blind tasting, a panel of French judges chose the 1973 Chateau Montelena California chardonnay, crafted by Grgich, as the best white wine in the world. Grgich then partnered with Austin Hills of the Hills Bros. Coffee family in 1977 to open Grgich Hills Estate. He serves as president/winemaker of the Rutherford, CA, winery, along with his daughter Violet Grgich (vice president of sales and marketing) and nephew Ivo Jeramaz (vice president of vineyards and production). With the 40th anniversary of the 1976 Judgement of Paris on May 24, Cheers editor Melissa Dowling caught up with Grgich, who turned 93 on April 1, to get his take on the historic tasting, how to make the best chardonnay and the state of wine today. Cheers: How will you mark the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting? MG: We have a lot of Judgment of Paris wine panels and dinners planned for 2016. For instance, Violet Grgich will participate in a dinner and panel discussion of the "Paris Tasting Legacy" as part of the American History after Hours at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. in May. The winery will also host Judgment of Paris dinners around the country with restaurant partners. Cheers: That event put American wine on the map and dispelled the myth that good wine could only come from France or Italy. What other places are producing great wines today? MG: I believe the Judgment of Paris is a signifi cant event— not just for me and the Napa Valley, but for everyone who is dedicated to winemaking, since it proves that you don't need French soil to make great wine. Today, there are many regions creating great wine, and I don't want to praise one over another. In the end, it really comes down to the winemaker making wine with his heart. Cheers: As the "King of Chardonnay," what do you make of the varietal's rise in recent decades—and the resulting backlash against its popularity from many wine enthusiasts? MG: When the 1973 chardonnay that I crafted outscored with 132 points the best French and California red and white wines at the Judgment of Paris, I think it inspired other wine CHEERS INTERVIEW: MILJENKO "MIKE" GRGICH Grgich chardonnay grows well in American Canyon, the coolest part of Napa Valley. Miljenko "Mike" Grgich president/winemaker of Grgich Hills Estate

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cheers - Cheers May 2016