RUTHERFORD, CA., March 16, 2023 — Grgich Hills Estate is set to host a series of events known as “A Life Full of Miracles” to celebrate the 100th birthday of legendary Napa Valley winemaker Miljenko “Mike” Grgich starting on April 1, 2023.
To mark the occasion, Grgich Hills Estate will release two highly collectible Centennial Celebration wines: the 2020 Paris Tasting Commemorative Chardonnay and the 2019 Yountville Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon. The commemorative Chardonnay pays homage to the historic Judgment of Paris blind tasting in 1976 when Miljenko’s wine scored the highest among French and California wines, changing the world of wine forever. The Cabernet Sauvignon is made from grapes grown in one of Napa Valley’s oldest Cabernet vineyards, exemplifying Miljenko’s tradition of excellence in crafting world-class Cabernet Sauvignon.
The birthday celebration will feature a multi-stream event accessible through the Grgich Hills official website.
The centennial event will be hosted by Master Sommelier, Andrea Robinson. Guests attending the physical event at the Grgich Hills Estate will enjoy live entertainment and delicious food designed to complement these exclusive wines and Andrea will engage with friends of Mike from around the US and Canada who will share their stories about him. Mike will join the celebration from his winter residence with his family, including Violet Grgich, President of Grgich Hills Estate.
On May 19, 2023, Mike’s close friends, colleagues, associates and select members of the media will celebrate “A Glass Full of Miracles,” an exclusive event where select wines that represent Mike’s career in the wine industry will be featured.
These include a selection of Grgich Hills Estate library wines, as well as those that he worked on while employed at other wineries- including Beaulieu Vineyard where he worked with Andre Tchelistcheff, his tenure at the Robert Mondavi Winery where he crafted the now famous “Fume Blanc” and 1969 Award Winning Cabernet Sauvignon, and finally at Chateau Montelena where he created the wine that won the “Judgement of Paris.”
Many winemaking associates will be sharing their favorite personal stories about friendships with Mike and the wines they created with him.
The following day, “A Life Full of Miracles” celebration will feature Croatian music and dancers in traditional costume, entertainment, and food created by renowned Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.
Approximately 400 invitation-only guests will be attending on May 20, 2023, on the open-air patio at The Ranch House at Grgich Hills Estate.
On July 1, 2023, Grgich Hills Estate’s annual Wine Club Croatian Extravaganza will celebrate 46 years of exceptional wines and the founding of Grgich Hills Estate. Miljenko “Mike” Grgich’s 100th birthday will be celebrated highlighting his contributions to the art of winemaking as well as his Croatian roots. Entertainment will include festive Croatian music and dancers in traditional costume as well as a special menu of Croatian delicacies paired with Grgich Hills Estate special Centennial wines. This is a special milestone, and a limited number of tickets will be set aside for the general public, allowing Wine Club Members first access.
About Miljenko “Mike” Grgich: Born in a village in the former Yugoslavia, now Croatia, in 1923. Miljenko’s US-bound journey from his homeland on a UN student visa via Germany and Canada was an ambitious one. Arriving in Napa Valley in 1958, Miljenko worked with a succession of the most influential wineries and winemakers in Napa Valley: Lee Stewart at Souverain Winery, Brother Timothy at Christian Brothers Cellars, André Tchelistcheff at Beaulieu Vineyards, and Robert Mondavi at Robert Mondavi Winery before becoming winemaker and limited partner at Château Montelena. Miljenko’s lifelong principles are characterized by faith, hard work, perseverance, love of the earth, dedication to education, and to the blending of farmer’s wisdom with scientific principles and the art of winemaking. Grgich was inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame in 2008.
About Grgich Hills Estate: Grgich Hills Cellar became Grgich Hills Estate in 2003, sourcing only grapes grown on the 366 acres of certified organic vineyards. Grgich Hills Estate is certified organic, incorporating biodynamic principles in farming practices and a Napa Valley leader in Regenerative Organic Agriculture. Referred to as “Organic Plus,” regenerative farming is a science-driven approach focused on no-till soil management, building organic matter to sustain microbial life, incorporating livestock and biodiversity, and caring for people who work in the fields and winery. Recognized as one of the world’s “Top 100 Wineries” by Wine & Spirits Magazine in 2022, Grgich Hills Estate is in the process of becoming certified through the Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA), a leading force in the Regenerative Agriculture movement worldwide, a key component of combating climate change.
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