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Grgich Hills Estate | Napa Valley

40th Anniversary of Paris Tasting

Don’t miss: On May 19 Violet Grgich will host a gala celebration of the “Judgment of Paris” at Vizcaya Museum & Garden in Miami, FL. This will be a memorable evening filled with exclusive wines personally selected by her father to match the elegant, multi-course dinner, followed by live music and dancing. Click here for tickets.

Throughout the year, Grgich Hills Estate is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the historic Judgment of Paris tasting. In 1976, Steven Spurrier, an Englishman who ran a fine wine shop in Paris, decided to promote his wine shop by organizing a blind tasting to coincide with America’s Bicentennial celebrations. For the tasting, he gathered together the best French judges, the finest French wines and he added in a few wines from some upstart winemakers in California. The unimaginable happened: the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, crafted by Mike Grgich, won with the highest total score of 132 points. In the afternoon tasting of the red wines, the French judges gave their top ranking to Warren Winiarski for his 1973 Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon, beating the best Cabernets of Bordeaux with 127.5 points!

The only reporter to attend, George Taber, wrote in Time magazine about this American triumph, which sent shock waves throughout the world of wine. Taber later wrote a fascinating account of this tasting and its impact in his book, “Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine,” which will be made into a major motion picture in 2017. The movie will include Mike Grgich and is being co-produced by entrepreneur Jonathan Rotella and famed Hollywood screenwriter and vintner Robert Kamen, best known for writing the Taken Trilogy and The Karate Kid series.

Mike Grgich believes the Judgment of Paris is a significant event not just for him 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.”

Celebrate Across The Country

In 2016, Grgich Hills Estate invites everyone to Taste the Legacy and join them for this wonderful celebration at one of these events:


April 1: Mike Grgich celebrates his 93rd birthday!

April 2: Mike Grgich will host a “Judgment of Paris” dinner and book launch of his autobiography “A Glass Full of Miracles.” Bottles and books signed by Mike Grgich will be available. Morgan’s in the Desert, La Quinta, CA.

May 16: Violet Grgich will participate in panel discussion of the “Paris Tasting Legacy” as part of the American History (After Hours) at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Washington, DC. For more information, visit

May 17: Violet Grgich will participate in the National Museum of American History’s 4thannual Winemakers’ Dinner commemoration of the 40th anniversary of “Paris Tasting” in Washington, DC. For more information, visit

May 19: Violet Grgich will host a gala celebration of the “Judgment of Paris” at Vizcaya Museum, Miami, FL. Click here for ticket information.

June 3: Auction Napa Valley- Private dinner at the winery with Mike Grgich and Iron Chef Morimoto & E-auction lot “Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Judgement of Paris with Mike Grgich”.

July 2: Grgich and Hills families will host a special “Judgment of Paris” Croatian Extravaganza for wine club members, friends and family, Yountville, CA. Bottles and books signed by Mike Grgich will be available.

Also, the winery will host Judgment of Paris dinners around the country with restaurant partners.