Grgich Hills Estate
“Every day do your best, learn something new, and make a friend.”
—Miljenko “Mike” Grgich
The above philosophy from Grgich Hills Estate’s Owner/Founder permeates the walls, halls and floors of this historic winery, along with the scents and sounds of world-class winemaking. Through the years, Grgich Hills Estate has done really well, innovated new winemaking techniques and made countless friends. Read on for some delicious history…
Wait, What? This Wine is from California?
Miljenko “Mike” Grgich first gained international recognition at the celebrated “Paris Tasting” of 1976. A panel of eminent French wine judges swirled, sniffed and sipped an array of the fabled white Burgundies of France with a small selection of Chardonnays from the Napa Valley in a blind tasting. When their scores were tallied, the French judges were shocked, because they had chosen the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, crafted by Mike Grgich, as the finest white wine in the world. The results of this tasting immediately earned Mike a reputation as one of the greatest winemakers in the world.
The Paris Tasting alerted the world that the California wine industry was a serious contender and it laid the groundwork for the creation of Grgich Hills Cellar, which came to fruition on Independence Day of 1977.
Hall of Famer…
Now 95 years old and still sporting his signature blue beret, Mike Grgich was inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame in 2008 in honor of his many contributions to the wine industry. He really has done his best, learned some new things and made some friends along the way!
You Gotta Taste These Wines!
I loved the overall vibe and gracious hospitality at Grgich Hills Estate, but my favorite part of the visit was the wines! I loved every wine I tasted (even brought a few bottles home!), but my favorites were the following wines:
2015 Paris Tasting Commemorative Chardonnay: I can see why Grgich’s Chardonnay wowed the French judges – this beauty lures you in with seductive aromas of Crème Brulee, lemon curd and spiced baked apples. These aromas continue as flavors in the rich, juicy, complex, balanced mouth and linger through the long delicious finish.
2015 Merlot: In a word, luscious! This Merlot is velvety-smooth and loaded with aromas and flavors of black cherry, mocha, vanilla and a whiff of cherry pipe tobacco, which lasts from the first sniff, on through the finish. Too easy to drink!
Grgich Hills Estate is committed to natural winegrowing and sustainability; the five estate vineyards are farmed without artificial fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides, and rely on wild yeast fermentation to craft their amazing wines. Also, in 2006, the winery switched to solar power.
As Mike often says, “From our vineyard to your glass, naturally!”
‘Intro to Grgich Hills’
Daily | No Appointment Necessary
$25 per person
The ideal tasting for becoming acquainted with or revisiting the award-winning wines of Grgich Hills Estate. The Intro Tasting features a rotating selection of four to six wines from their Napa Valley portfolio, including a special bottling direct from their sister winery in Croatia- the homeland of winery founder Miljenko (Mike) Grgich. Tasting fee waived with two bottle purchase.
Wine and Cheese Tasting
$65 per person | Complimentary for Club Members and up to four of their guests.
Reservations required | Allow 90 minutes
Designed by Vintners Hall of Fame inductee Mike Grgich himself, this unforgettable tasting starts in the educational vineyard and follows the path of the estate grown grapes from vine to bottle. You’ll discover why Mike calls this journey, “from our vineyards to your glass, naturally!”. The tour concludes with a seated tasting of cheeses paired perfectly with five limited production and specialty wines.