|Last week at a special event organized by the Culinary Institute of America, Miljenko “Mike” Grgich was celebrated for his contributions to Californian wine.
The success of the California wine industry can be traced to “our unique and varied bouquet of cultures,” said California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at the event.
After working at a number of wineries in the Napa Valley — including Souverain, Christian Brothers Cellars, Beaulieu Vineyard (working alongside André Tchelistcheff), and Robert Mondavi — Grgich became the winemaker and limited partner at Chateau Montelena.
His 1973 vintage Chardonnay was selected for competition in the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, where it was ranked the number one white wine.
More recently, his successes enabled him to establish his own winery, Grgich Hills Cellar in Rutherford, California, which owns 365 acres (147 ha) of vineyards and produces 80,000 cases of wine each year. Its very first vintage won the Great Chardonnay Showdown, with 221 competitors from countries around the world.
To learn more about the event visit the Napa Valley Register.