One of the biggest events ever to affect the prestige of California wines happened on May 24, 1976. Chateau Montelena chardonnay 1973 made by brilliant winemaker Mike (Miljenko) Grgich won first place in a blind tasting in Paris over nine French wines.
That tasting put California chardonnay and Mike Grgich on the map. Grgich has been earning medals ever since. Mike Grgich and Austin Hills broke ground for Grigich Hills Cellar on July 4, 1977—and they have won a multitude of awards since then.
A Gold Medal and the Robert Mondavi Trophy for the “Best Chardonnay” at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London, England, the 1984 zinfandel was awarded the “Best American Zinfandel” and given a Platinum in the International Wine category.
Mike appeared on the cover of The Wine Spectator April 1992; the story was titled “California’s Old World Master-Few Can Challenge Mike Grgich in Crafting World-Class Wine.”
At 86 years of age, Mike Grgich is still winning awards.
Grgich Hills Cellar
P.O. Box 450
1829 St. Helena Hwy.
Rutherford, CA 94573
Mike Grgich in Croatia
When Croatia declared its formal independence and freedom from communism, Grgich went home to Croatia, bringing with him the knowledge and experience gained from his many intensive years in the California winemaking industry.
Grgich Vina Winery was established in 1996. Only 50,000 bottles are produced per year, and none are exported. Grgic Vina is a medium producer in Croatia. Mike produced his first vintage in Trstenik in 1996 and has been awarded many awards, including the Golden Kuna, the highest recognition given by the “Hrvatska Trgovacka Komora“, and presented by Croatian President Mesic. The award is equivalent to a lifetime achievement award and recognizes the impact Grigich has had in Croatian economy.
Before going into oak, the wines are aged in stainless steel vats produced in Santa Rosa, California. The red Plavac Mali,($33 U.S.), an ancient Croatian grape crijenak kasteljanski, was proved by Mike Grgich and UC Davis, about three years ago, to be a very close cousin of zinfandel. The wine is aged seven to eight months in oak barrels and has a red raspberry/clove flavor. The white wine Posip ($20 U.S.), from a grape grown only on the island of Korcula, is aged two to three months in oak barrels, and is buttery with flavors of pear/vanilla.
Winemaker/caretaker and wife Kreso and Drazana Vuckovic open the winery daily to the public, usually from 10 a,m, to 5 p.m, but it is recommended to call first.
Grgic Vina d.o.o. is located at Trstenik 20248 -Broj 78, Croatia, Europe phone/fax 011 385 20 748 090