Grgich Hills Estate Winery
Organic Farming Key To Vineyard’s Best Expressions
For over three decades Grgich Hills Estate founder Miljenko “Mike” Grgich and Winemaker (and nephew) Ivo Jeramaz together have proven that farming sustainably, using only certified organic methods of vine and land management, results in a grape quality of such high caliber that the wines not only become reflective of their true varietal characteristics, but wonderfully distinctive in flavor, style and profile. The hidden benefits of a thriving growing environment at each estate vineyard are revealed seasonally by the fertility of the varied soils; proper pruning techniques to ensure optimum vine health and longevity; and the cultivation of natural, beneficial pests to control the unwanted ones. These vital factors play a critical role in achieving the best expression of a vine year after year in order to consistently make the best wine possible, year after year.
Since 2003, the winery has planted and farmed their own vineyards making their collection of wines 100% estate-grown, produced and bottled. Each of the five vineyard sites (366 planted acres in total) were strategically chosen for their location then specific grape varietals most suited for that site were selected and planted. The winery’s vineyard holdings span the entire Napa Valley AVA from the cooler sites in the south like Carneros and American Canyon, vineyard home for the famed Violetta Late Harvest grapes, to the warmer (and coveted) climates of Yountville, Rutherford and Calistoga in the north. It is because of Mike and Ivo’s on-going commitment to nurturing the land holistically that rows of ancient Zinfandel vines planted back in 1889 have survived, and are still today producing exquisite fruit for the Miljenko’s Old Vine Zinfandel bottling [$130/bottle, limited production].
At Grgich Hills, we grow grapes like my grandfather did, farming without chemicals and pesticides,” Ivo says. “Mike taught me early in my career that you need great grapes to make great wine. Over the years, I’ve focused on working with the land. Through our natural farming, it’s been very rewarding to seeing the soil alive with healthier plants than under conventional farming. It allows the wines to be more authentic—more distinctive.”- Ivo Jeramaz, Winemaker/Vice President of Vineyards & Production
Taste The Difference, Naturally
Relying on natural wild yeast fermentation and a whole lot of passion for the art of winemaking, Mike and Ivo have the freedom to handcraft an impressive range of wines. Their most notable wine being Chardonnay, as it was the varietal that catapulted Mike to international and critical fame when his 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay won the 1976 Paris Tasting. Today, their collection still includes Chardonnay along with the added bonus of crisp Fumé Blanc, deep and complex Rutherford Cabernet, lush and fragrant Merlot, small-lot offerings of Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot…and not to forget, the varietal mascot of Croatia: Zinfandel. A must-taste while visiting is their Violetta — a late harvest dessert wine expertly balanced in sugars and acidity and richly perfumed with aromas of stone fruit, ripe pear, Mandarin orange and honeysuckle ($85/375ml, very limited production.) All of Grgich Hills Estate wines are crafted to be food-friendly, balanced and elegant. As Mike often says, “From our vineyard to your glass, naturally!”
A variety of standing tastings are offered daily from 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. in the main tasting room, walk-in’s encouraged and no reservations required. For those wishing for a more in-depth look at Ggrich wines, choose either one of their seated tastings offered by appointment. The Unforgettable Tasting for $65 per person includes a vineyard and facility tour followed by a seated tasting on their beautiful patio overlooking the vineyards. Local cheeses are paired perfectly with five limited production wines. The Exclusive Tasting at $90 per person provides an intimate and exclusive tasting of Grgich Hills Estate’s best kept secrets. Your personal host will guide you through a customized flight of six older vintage and limited production wines paired with artisan cheeses. This is your chance to taste and purchase wines that are rarely released from their winery vault. A winery tour can be added to this experience at no extra charge when scheduled in advance. For more information on all of the tastings,
‘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.