Today’s the 31st Anniversary of the Most Important Tasting in California’s History
Today marks the 31st anniversary of the most important day in California wine history. Many regard the 1976 Judgment of Paris as the ‘tasting that changed the world.’ This was certainly true for the Napa Valley wineries that took home top honors, beating wines that were supposedly unbeatable.
There were two categories, Reds and Whites. Six California Cabernet Sauvignons were competing against four of the top reds from Bordeaux, including a 1970 Châteaux Haut-Brion and Mouton-Rothschild. And six California Chardonnays were competing against four of the top whites from Burgundy.
After the panel of eight French men and one French woman went through the blind tasting, they thought it was a landslide victory for France. But after the results were tallied, the French judges were shocked to discover that California came out on top in both categories.
This victory truly was the “shot heard round the world,” and raised California’s wine industry to a new level. The winning Cabernet was the 1973 Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, and the winning Chardonnay was the 1973 Chateau Montelena.