History of Chardonnayby Violet Grgich Grgich Hills Estate
With its relatively dry, medium to full body characteristics, Chardonnay is the world's favorite white wine. However, the flavors and quality tend to vary depending on how and where the wine is produced and aged.
Birthplace of Chardonnay
The Chardonnay grape originated during the Middle Ages near the small village of Chardon in the Maĉon region of France. The area, approximately 325 km (225 miles) southeast of Paris, continues to produce most of France’s chardonnay grapes.
Incidentally, the name “Chardon” comes from Latin, meaning “a place of thistles,” according to a UC Davis report.
Over time, French winemakers perfected their methods of producing Chardonnay. In the mid-1800s, famous Frenchman Alexander Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers, is reported to have inferred that Chardonnay should be sipped “only while kneeling with the head bowed.”
In the late The 1800s, Chardonnay grapevinesfinally found their way to Napa Valley, although most of the early vines disappeared during Prohibition.
While the Burgundy Region claims the birth of the variety, Napa Chardonnay is considered among the best in the world today. This claim ceased to be idle boasts a result of a singlePariswine tasting event that marked the turning point that helped elevated Napa Valley’s standing as one of the premier wine-producing regions of the world.
The “Judgement of Paris 1976”
In 1976, wine experts gathered in a Paris hotel to conduct a blind tasting that compared several prestigious French wines against some NapaValley “upstarts.”
One entry, a 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, presented by Napa Valley winemaker, Miljenko (Mike) Grgich was stunningly awarded first place in the tasting, much to the horror of many notable French wine experts.
As a result of this success, Napa Chardonnay plantings increased exponentially. According to a Wine Institute report, Napa Valley’s acreage of Chardonnay vineyards in 2018 had risen to 6,908 acres of the93,148 acres planted with Chardonnay vines throughout California.
Most notably, that initial Mike Grgich Chardonnay entry into the 1976 Paris Wine Tasting is designated as one of the Smithsonian Institute’s “101 Objects that made America.”
Ranked near or at the top of U.S. wine consumption by different sources, Chardonnay stands as the top white wine preference for most Americans.
Establishing Grgich Hills Estate Winery
The Paris Judgement did more to establish the credibility of Napa Valley as a premier wine-producing region than anything else. Building upon the great success at that experience, in 1977, Mike Grgich laid the groundwork for a new winery, Grgich Hills Cellar, in partnership with Austin Hills and sister Mary Lee Streblof Hill Bros. Coffee. The mission: To produce the highest quality wines. The winery’s signature wine was Mike’s excellent, award-winning Chardonnay.
Today, Grgich Hills Estate produces a range that includes excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Fumé Blanc, Petit Syrah, Petit Verdot, Rosé, and Zinfandel.
Best Wine Tasting in Napa
From their Rutherford winery situated in the heart of Napa Valley, Grgich Hills Estate produces some of the best wines, white or red, in the world. The winery offers the best wine tasting in Napa Valley that allows you to explore several of their fabulous creations. You can even engage your feet in some wine stomping while there.
Alternatively, you may order the current Grgich Hills Estate Napa Chardonnay online. The list includes:
· 2016 Napa Valley Chardonnay
· 2014 Napa Valley Chardonnay, Magnum
· 2018 Napa Valley Chardonnay Half-Bottle
· 2017 Miljenko’s Selection, Chardonnay (Club Only)
· 2017 Paris Tasting Commemorative
Looking for a Classic Chardonnay? Select the best from the “King of Chardonnay.” For more information about the best wine tasting in Napa Valley, call Grgich Hill Estate at +1-707-963-2784.
375 km (225 mi) southeast of Paris
Best Wine Tasting in Napa, Napa Chardonnay
Grgich Hills Estatehttps://www.winetraveler.com/wine-resources/chardonnay-history-wine-styles/
Created on May 27th 2020 08:12. Viewed 240 times.