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Grgich Hills Estate

Grgich Hills Estate Miljenko “Mike” Grgich first gained international recognition at the celebrated “Paris Tasting” of 1976. There, in a now-historic blind tasting, a panel of eminent French judges swirled, sniffed, and sipped an array of the fabled white Burgundies of France and a small sampling of upstart Chardonnays from the Napa Valley. When their scores were tallied, the French judges were shocked: they had chosen Mike’s 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay as the finest white wine in the world. Mon Dieu! The results stunned the international wine establishment and immediately earned Mike Grgich a reputation as one of the greatest winemakers in the world. The Paris Tasting served notice to the world that the California wine industry was on the move, and it laid the groundwork for the creation of Grgich Hills Cellar. After his victory in Paris, Mike sat down with Austin Hills and his sister, Mary Lee Strebl, from the Hills Bros. Coffee family, and on Independence Day 1977, they gave birth to Grgich Hills. It was an ideal partnership. Austin owned premium vineyards in Rutherford, in the heart of the Napa Valley, and with his extensive background in business, he put the winery on its financial feet. Mike, with his fierce commitment to making wines of the highest quality, began producing what immediately became our signature wines: the exquisite, richly complex Chardonnays that win awards and delight wine lovers across America and throughout the world. Today, as we enter our 27th year, we remain committed to making distinctive wines of the highest quality. We are proud that world leaders such as Presidents Reagan and Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II and French President François Mitterrand chose our wines to serve at state dinners, but we are just as proud that every single day discriminating wine drinkers count on Grgich Hills to turn their own dinners into special occasions. As always, we treat each of our six different wines as a special child, carefully nurturing their development and character. Our main pride and joy is still our Chardonnay, an elegant example of the varietal displaying rich flavors and exquisite balance. As a complement to the Chardonnay, we also produce a refreshingly crisp Fume Blanc, a rich and spicy Zinfandel, a Cabernet Sauvignon with tremendous depth and complexity, and a luscious dessert wine named “Violetta,” in honor of Mike's daughter. Our latest addition to our family is a lush and richly fragrant Merlot. Now in his 80s, and still sporting his signature blue beret, Mike continues to oversee daily operations at Grgich Hills and to chart its future course. While many other Napa wineries pursue strategies of expansion, Mike, along with his daughter, Violet, and his nephew, Ivo Jeramaz, prefer to stay small. Their aim, year after year, is to improve the quality of their vineyards and their wines, relying on Mike’s unique artistic and intuitive touch. This strategy continues to pay significant dividends. Many wineries buy their grap

Driving from the city of Napa on the main highway (Hwy. 29, also called St. Helena Hwy.), the winery is located approximately 15 miles north in Rutherford at 1829 St. Helena Hwy, about 1/2 mile north of the Rutherford Grill, on the left side of the road. Look for a large white stucco building with a red tile roof. Driving from Calistoga, we are approximately 12 miles south, a mile past the railroad crossing at Whitehall Lane, on the right side of the road. Look for a large white stucco building with a red tile roof.

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1829 St. Helena Hwy., Rutherford, CA, US, 94573 Email:
Phone: 800-532-3057 Web:
Fax: 707-963-8725
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  Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Our Yountville vineyard, which we began farming biodynamically in 2003, supplies the main body of our Napa Valley blend. Nicely balanced between fruit and tannin, this elegant wine is rich with aromas of black cherry, crushed rose petals and cocoa powder. This full bodied wine goes well with roasted meats, grilled Portobello mushrooms or a firm cow’s milk cheese such as Edam or Gouda. This 1999 vintage has typical Cabernet aromas and a long, lingering aftertaste coating your tongue with a gentle layer of soft tannins (sometimes called Rutherford dust) and mouth-filling flavors of currant, blackberry, spice and chocolate to prolong your enjoyment. It is structured much like a classic Bordeaux with a solid base of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 3% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc to create a unique wine with great complexity, perfect balance, and a beautiful deep garnet color. Like all of our Cabernets, this vintage was built for the cellar and will improve with age (just like good people). We recommend serving this wine with prime rib au jus, venison, or a grilled steak as the perfect complement to a festive dinner
  Cabernet Sauvignon, Yountville Selection
In 2003, we began Biodynamically farming the Cabernet Sauvignon vines that produce our prestigious Yountville Selection. A bit more fruit forward then previous Yountville Selections, this full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon offers deep aromas of blackberry, black currents and black cherries. The wine’s layers of texture and perfect balance between acid, tannin and oak ensure that it will continue to gain complexity in the cellar.
  Chardonnay, Carneros Selection
2001 was one of those special vintages, and the wine is truly sensational. The nose is exquisite, with aromas of vanilla, butterscotch, tropical fruit, green apple, caramel, and oak. In the mouth it is full and round, with notes of citrus, honeysuckle, toasted almonds, and a lingering finish. As always, we avoided malolactic fermentation, resulting in a crisp, refreshing Chardonnay with a perfect balance of body and elegance. This wine pairs beautifully with grilled salmon, but for a taste of heaven, enjoy it with fresh sea bass and russet potatoes roasted with olive oil, garlic and fresh mushrooms. Mmmmmm . . . .
  Chardonnay, Napa Valley Estate Grown
This is the first vintage that our Chardonnay is estate grown, meaning we control everything from the vineyard to the bottle. The grapes were grown organically at our American Canyon and Carneros vineyards, where the coolness allows the grapes to develop complex flavors while maintaining a pleasing natural acidity. We do not allow the Chardonnay to undergo malolactic fermentation. This preserves the wine’s crispness and acidity to balance its concentrated fruit. Our full-bodied, elegant Chardonnay has fresh aromas of acacia and citrus flowers, honey and a touch of mineral.
  Chardonnay, Napa Valley Estate Grown
We organically and Biodynamically grew this Chardonnay at our cool American Canyon and Carneros vineyards, where the grapes developed complex flavors while maintaining a pleasing natural acidity. Our Chardonnay does not undergo malolactic fermentation, which preserves the wine’s crispness and acidity to balance its concentrated fruit. This elegant Chardonnay has luscious aromas of baked pear, lychee nuts and wild honey.
  Fumé Blanc, Estate Grown
In a word, this wine is stunning. Even before the grapes came into the winery late last August, we knew this would be the best Fumé Blanc we have produced. It’s very much in the style of our 2003, with a floral and citrus bouquet, exuberant ripe pink grapefruit, spice, and the brisk acidity that make this wine such a good food partner or crisp and refreshing on a warm summer day. Extremely low yields in 2004 (only 3 tons per acre – minuscule for this varietal) resulted in an amazing concentration of flavors – mango, passion fruit, a hint of guava – while retaining the acidity and balance Grgich Hills is known for. Alas, low yields also mean that we produced less of this lovely wine than last year – stock up today!
  Fumé Blanc, Estate Grown
Our Fumé Blanc is estate grown, meaning we control everything from the ground to the bottle. We feel this is essential to achieve the kind of quality, balance and consistency that is Grgich Hills' hallmark. The 2005 Fumé Blanc displays classic varietal flavors of grapefruit, lemongrass and a touch of minerality, a full mouth feel and long finish. This versatile, flavorful white wine is a great companion to a wide variety of food flavors and textures.
  Fumé Blanc, Napa Valley, Estate Grown
The grapes were organically and Biodynamically grown on our cool American Canyon and Carneros vineyards, not far from the San Francisco Bay. In the glass, the wine offers a whiff of the tropics with kiwi, grapefruit, pineapple and a hint of minerality. On the tongue, this full-bodied wine has a crisp, refreshing texture and a long finish. This versatile, flavorful white wine is a great companion to a wide variety of food flavors and textures.
  Merlot, Napa Valley
The wine's perfect marriage of ripe fruit and French oak barrels creates a bouquet of cherry and black berries with hints of cedar and spice. In the mouth this Merlot has a generous, soft, smooth texture that hugs your tongue and the flavors linger in your mouth for a long, long time. This is a Merlot that will gain in complexity and silkiness with age.
  Merlot, Napa Valley, Estate Grown
By blending wine from four of our organically-grown estate vineyards in different growing regions within Napa Valley, we create a complex, balanced Merlot. This is a full-bodied Merlot with rich aromas and flavors of ripe cherry and black berries, hints of cedar and spice with a silky mouthfeel and long finish.
  Miljenko’s Old Vines Zinfandel
Miljenko “Mike” Grgich’s home overlooks our 34-acre vineyard in Calistoga. The warmest of all five of our vineyards, the reddish soils here are gravelly loam that provide excellent drainage and are perfect for sun-loving Zinfandel. The few rows of the vineyard that produce this wine were planted more than 100 years ago. We dry farm and organically farm the vines to produce concentrated, complex flavors in the grapes. Concentrated aromas of rose petals, anise, blackberry and black peppercorns jump out of the glass. Its spicy fruit and fine balance of acid and tannins make it perfect for flavorful dishes such as lamb chops, sausages, duck confit and aged cheeses. Extremely limited: only 454 cases produced, so buy now before we’re sold out.
  Violetta, Late Harvest
In 2002, Mother Nature cooperated with us and we are pleased to release our fourth vintage of "Violetta." This late-harvest, botrytis-affected dessert wine is a blend of sixty percent Chardonnay and forty percent Riesling. The wine is fragrant and a lovely deep golden color. The nose explodes with rich honey, vanilla, butterscotch and toasted almonds, yet there are hints of springtime flowers. The luscious mouthfeel is balanced by crisp acidity that creates a lingering finish on the palate that is especially pleasing and refreshing, not cloying. There is an intriguing effervescent but soothing sensation that is seems to coat the throat as one savors the long, pleasant almond-honey finish. The 2002 "Violetta" is a seductive wine, delicate yet bold, making it the perfect finale to a meal, either on its own or accompanying dessert or cheese.
  Violetta, Napa Valley
This botrytis-affected wine is extremely rich and concentrated on the palate, exploding with honey, apricots, almonds, and crème brulée. The Chardonnay component (60%) of the blend contributes flavors of ripe pear and baked apple, while the Riesling (40%) adds rich, concentrated apricot flavors and floral notes to the bouquet. Hints of clove and cinnamon from French oak aging and a slight truffle undertone from the botrytis add depth and complexity. The finish is long, persistent, and smooth. Available only through the winery.
  Zinfandel, Estate Grown Napa Valley
We organically and Biodynamically grow our Zinfandel grapes at our estate vineyard in Calistoga, nestled in northern tip of Napa Valley. This Zinfandel is an irresistible mix of strawberries and raspberries with a hint of allspice that keep evolving as the wine sits in the glass. Nicely balanced between acidity and alcohol, this medium-bodied Zinfandel’s forward fruit and soft tannins make it a great match with grilled meats, pizza and pastas with tomato sauce.


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