• Family Values & First Class Hospitality Thrive at Grgich Hills

    Family Values & First Class Hospitality Thrive at Grgich Hills
    Over 20 years ago, not knowing much about red wines, we embarked on our first Napa Valley adventure and a stop at Grgich Hills Estate changed the way we viewed wine forever. It is safe to say that our understanding of Cabernet Sauvignon started on that visit to Grgich Hills when a kind tasting room steward decided to treat us to an in-depth tasting of their Cabernet while at the same time giving us a brief history lesson of the valley. Fast forward many years and we decided to visit the pioneering winery once more. To our delight, we were again treated to an enriching experience.
    The story of Grgich Hills started in 1977 when Miljenko “Mike” Grgich, a driven winemaker from Croatia and Austin Hills, a businessman with vineyards in Napa Valley, joined forces and embarked on their journey to produce world-class wines, a partnership that continues to this day. Given the fact that Mike had crafted the famous 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that won the 1976 Paris Tasting it is no surprise that their signature wine quickly became their award-winning Chardonnay. During our visit, we had the opportunity to try the 2020 Grgich Hills Paris Tasting Commemorative Chardonnay, which made in the style of the 1973 Chateau Montelena, pays homage to Mike’s legacy as he celebrates his centennial birthday. We found the wine to be balanced and vibrant and believe it to be one worth searching for. 
    Who would have thought that when Mike Grgich arrived in America, with practically no money in his pockets, he would have co-founded one of the most important wineries in the United States? Today, Grgich Hills continues to be a thriving family-owned winery making 100% Estate-grown wines from their 366 acres of Napa Valley vineyards. Among these vineyards, you can find the second oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines (1959) and the oldest Zinfandel vines (1889) in Napa Valley. Responsible for the day-to-day operations in the cellar and vineyards and for crafting their award-winning wines is Mike’s nephew, Ivo Jeramaz, who began his career at the winery washing barrels. The responsibility of preserving the winery’s legacy falls on the shoulders of Violet Grgich, who grew up learning the ins and outs of the winery from her father, and who now serves as President.
    Three wines that stood out during our visit, along with the 2020 Chardonnay previously mentioned, were the 2021Essence Sauvignon Blanc, the 2019 Yountville Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2019 Miljenko’s Old Vine Zinfandel. All three of these wines showcased a freshness that perhaps comes from their organic and regenerative farming practices. The Grgich Hills vineyards have been certified organic since 2006.
    The family values and commitment to hospitality that made us fall in love with this winery over 20 years ago continue to thrive to this day. Now with the third generation of family members joining the winery ranks we do not doubt that those values will continue to carry on.