Behind the Wine: Miljenko ‘Mike’ Grgich


When I first saw the movie Bottleshock at a friend’s house in Kansas City, we were sipping cheap Chianti and simply enjoying an entertaining story. Soon after, on a honeymoon in Napa and Sonoma, I bought a bottle of the famous Chateau Montelena Chardonnay.

It would be years before I learned the story in Bottleshock the movie was closer to myth than reality, and that the truth of Napa Valley wines winning the 1976 Judgment of Paris was not just the story of a happy-go-lucky businessman who gambled his lifesavings on a winery. Rather, it was that of an unlikely Croatian immigrant, a refugee from Soviet communism, a student of wine, and a lover of the Valley in which he lived… [read more]*

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