Grgich Hills Winery, located in Rutherford in the middle of beautiful Napa Valley, was founded on July 4, 1977 through the efforts of Miljenko "Mike" Grgich and Austin E. Hills of the Hills Brothers coffee family. Grgich had first drawn worldwide attention in 1976 as a result of the famous "Paris Tasting" in which an all French panel of judges chose his 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay over the best of the white Burgundies in a blind tasting. Grgich had the skill and expertise to make great wines and Hills, owner of established vineyards, had a background in business and finance. As we enter our 26th year, the winery continues the tradition of making world class wines which earn countless special awards and recognition . Grgich Hills Winery wines have been enjoyed not only on special occasions by world leaders such as Presidents Reagan and Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II and President Francois Mitterand, but also by discriminating wine drinkers who make every day a special occasion with fine wine. Still active in daily operations, Grgich looks forward to retirement someday and will rely on daughter Violet Grgich , VP Sales & Marketing, and nephew Ivo Jeramaz , VP Production & Vineyard Development, to continue a tradition of fine winemaking based on his lifelong values of perseverence and dedication to quality. Excellence will always be an uncompromising philosophy at Grgich Hills. Each of our six different wines is treated as a special child, receiving devoted attention to every stage of its development to achieve its own unique character. Never satisfied with yesterday's best, each vintage arrives as a new challenge to create the best wines of the future. The stellar attraction of Grgich Hills is our Chardonnay , an elegant example of the varietal displaying rich flavors and exquisite balance. As a complement to the Chardonnay we also produce a clean, crisp Fume Blanc , a spicy Zinfandel , a Cabernet Sauvignon with tremendous depth and complexity, a luscious dessert wine named after Mike Grgich's daughter called "Violetta", and last but not least, a newly introduced Merlot! Grgich Hills Winery is located in the middle of Napa Valley on Highway 29 just north of Rutherford in Napa Valley.
Grgich Hills Winery 2001 Chardonnay
The 2001 vintage was an excellent one for Chardonnay, as a cool summer enabled the acidity in the grapes to remain high and created wines with elegance and balance. the aromas of citrus, apple, honey and pear along with a touch of mineral, toasty vanilla oak, and carmel will intrigue you. The flavors which follow are crisp and complex, exhibiting a vibrant melange of grapefruit and lemon, pineapple and pear with a hint of nuttinesss. Its long, creamy finish will have you asking for more! As always, malolactic fermentation was avoided to retain the natrual acids, aromas, and flavors and to increase its longevity. Fermenting the wine in the barrel and allowing some "sur lies aging" adds a further dimension of texture and flavor. Try this Chardonnay with poultry, seafood, cream sauces, pasta, or a variety of cheeses.
Grgich Hills Winery 2001 Fumé Blanc
This vintage is very special to us in that all the grapes for this Fumé Blanc were derived from our own American Canyon vineyard. The season started early with a warm May and June followed by a cooler August enabling us to pick grapes with good acid and a lovely freshness. By avoiding malolactic fermentation, we conserved in the wine all of its natural acids and crispness. Finally, we aged the wine for five months in two-year-old French barrels, using the oak to bring out the sensuous aromas of honey, jasmine and tropical fruit. The result is a connoisseur's treat. The wine has an attractive pale yellow straw color and is brilliantly clear. Beneath the aromas of honey and jasmine you will discover a mix of lime-citrus and tropical fragrances, with light, grassy-herbaceous undertones, leaning toward riper fruit on the palate. In the mouth it is crisp and clean, with a mellow, long-lasting and satisfying finish. Light to medium in body, with a pleasant weight on the tongue, this Sauvignon Blanc makes a delightful dancing partner for salads, shellfish, or seafood pasta.
Grgich Hills Winery 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon
With a cool growing season, the 2000 grape harvest was a bit later than usual, enabling us to pick our Cabernet grapes in mid-October. This additional time on the vine allowed the grapes to develop intense varietal character and exceptional quality. In the nose, you will notice a generously scented Cabernet fragrance of ripe black fruit, cassis and cedar. As you indulge in your first sip, a fullness of texture prepares you for a big, ripe and opulent wine. Your palate will not be disappointed! This young, robust tannins suggest that this Cabernet will be a welcome addition to our cellar, where it will continue to develop even more complexity and elegance over the years.
Grgich Hills Winery 2000 Zinfandel
The Zinfandel grapes for this vintage were harvested in mid-September at perfect physiological maturity. Both the growing and bloom seasons were long, as was the harvest. So, the result was another signature Grgich Hills Zinfandel - a beautifully balanced wine with medium body, plenty of soft tannins, good acidity, and rich, complex flavors and loads of berries. Tasting our 2000 Zinfandel is a feast for the senses. It has a beautiful, deep purple color and delightful aromas of ripe blackberries, plums, currants, and a touch of raspberries. Rich and well-balanced with a deep and lasting finish, it fills your mouth and palate with a lively medley of bursting berry flavors with delicate hints of toasty oak and cedar aromas from the barrels. We're passionate about Zinfandel and recommend serving it with barbecued dishes, white meats, game and pastas. Since the roots of Zinfandel trace all the way back to our native Croatia, you might do what we do. Open a bottle or two to enjoy with family and friends, and then raise your glasses in a traditional Croatian toast, "Zivili!" - Long Live!"
Grgich Hills Winery 2000 Merlot
This is the second release of our highly acclaimed Merlot. This medium to full-bodied wine is a brilliant, dark ruby color. A warm spicy aroma of cedar, red berries and nutmeg invites you to take a sip. Your mouth will be tantalized by the smooth, ripe fruit flavors of cherries and plums with underlying nuances of herbs and chocolate. A touch of sweet vanilla oak, moderate tannis and good acidity give this Merlot a velvety texture and lingering aftertaste. Although this Merlot drinks beautifully now, it will improve with age if you can hold on to it! Try serving it with a grilled steak, roast loin of pork with a red berry wine reduction sauce, lamb, eggplant parmesan, duck confit, or even wild mushroom risotto.
Grgich Hills Winery 2000 Violetta
This will be the third release of our ever-popular late harvest dessert wine. To add further complexity, we blended in a small percentage of Sauvignon Blanc (15%) in addition to Chardonnay (45%) and Riesling (40%)...Mother Nature having kissed each varietal with botrytis. This vintage is full-bodied and viscous with 12% residual sugar. With the naturally high acidity, this wine is harmonious without being cloying. The flavors are rich, satisfying and resemble the sweet, tantalizing flavors of juicy peaches with a hint of piquant orange peel in the nose. Even people who aren't familiar with sweet wine become instant converts when they sample our Violetta! The complete meal needs Violetta.
Grgich Hills Winery 1999 Plavac Mali, Croatia
Plavac Mali is one of Croatia's premium grape varieties and has recently been proven to be in the same family as Zinfandel. While it definitely bears a family resemblance to its California cousin, it has unique characteristics all its own. Produced from low yielding vineyards on the country's mainland in a grape growing region known as Dingac (Ding-gatch), the aroma speaks first of the warm Mediterranean sun. Then, beneath the deep, dark, ruby red color you will discover a very full bodied and full flavored wine with excellent structure offering a wealth of mouthfilling flavors. Ripe berries, black fruit and plums along with an exotic spiciness will likely come to mind. The French oak barrels used for aging this wine have also added a sophisticated note to the aroma and finish. If your curiosity gets the better of you, try this wine tonight with a savory lamb or pork dish, but if you can manage to wait awhile and place this wine in your cellar instead, it will continue improve with additional bottle age. Now available for purchase at the winery!