A historic Parisian event held in 1976 matched the best wines of France in a blind tasting with a few upstarts from Napa Valley, a land barely on the wine map when compared to the grand crus of Burgundy and the great wines of Bordeaux that little old Napa was pitted against. Lo and behold the best wines of the day were a Cabernet from Stags' Leap and a Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena made by Mike Grgich. The fact that a California Chardonnay could beat wines from Montrachet, Meursault and the Beaune vineyard Clos des Mouches was a shock not only to the French judges, but also to everyone else involved as well, including the winemakers.
Grgich founded his own winery in 1977 and has been making stellar wines since. Today Grgich Hills produces 60,000 cases a year from its ivy-covered facility in the heart of Rutherford in Napa County, California. The winery owns some of the best vineyards in all of Napa with acreage in Rutherford and Yountville for Cabernet, Los Carneros for Chardonnay and Merlot, American Canyon for Sauvignon Blanc and Calistoga for Zinfandel.
Mike Grgich stands firm to its biodynamic winemaking practics, using everything from fermented dandelions, to stinging nettle tea, to cow manure packed inside of a cow horn, all used at specific times during the lunar cycles throughout the year. No harmful herbicides, fungicides, pesticides or synthetic fertilizers are used in this process. It is truly a concept designed to work with Mother Nature rather than against her.
Grgich Hills was the Winegeeks.com Producer of the Month in December, 2005.