In 1977, Miljenko “Mike” Grgich founded Grgich Hills. The previous year, he was an integral part of one of the most significant events in the development of California’s wine industry. Grgich made the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that was entered in the 1976 Paris Tasting.
The French panel of judges had awarded Grgich’s masterpiece the best white wine at the blind tasting. He beat several of Burgundy’s best in the process. This shocked the French, and catapulted Mr. Grgich’s reputation.
From the beginning, Grgich Hills’ flagship wine has been Chardonnay. Although the focus continues to be on this grape, the winery now produces five other premium wines. These varietals include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Fume Blanc and Zinfandel along with a dessert wine called Violetta.
Although Mr. Grgich is now in his 80s, he continues to oversee the vineyard and winery. His daughter Violetta and nephew Ivo Jeramaz are also integral parts of the business.