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Grgich Hills Celebrates First Four Decades

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TASTE News Service, April 9, 2017 – Iconic Napa Valley winery Grgich Hills Estate is releasing a 40th Anniversary Chardonnay celebrating their first four decades.

Co-owner Violet Grgich says, “This wine embodies the Chardonnay my father, Miljenko “Mike” Grgich, first made for Grgich Hills Estate 40 years ago, and illustrates the advancements we’ve made in vineyard and winemaking techniques over the past four decades.” The Grgich and Hills families discuss the history of the winery and what’s next in a new video available to view below.

The limited-production wine recalls an earlier style of Chardonnay, with crispness, rich body, and refined elegance. Lots were chosen to showcase the fresh, bright, juicy flavors of crisp apple and pear, driven by refreshing acidity and a clean mouthfeel. “The quality of our wine is first created in the vineyard through grape growing,” says Ivo Jeramaz, winemaker at Grgich Hills Estate and grandnephew of Mike Grgich. “The grapes for this wine came from our oldest vines in Carneros that produce fruit with impressive flavor.”

The vineyard is certified organic and dry-farmed (a farming technique that is rare for Carneros), and the 40th Anniversary Chardonnay did not undergo malolactic fermentation to preserve the natural high acidity from the fruit, just as with the 1977 Chardonnay and all subsequent vintages. The wine is barrel fermented with indigenous yeast, and aged for 10 months in 70% new and 30% neutral French oak.

Use of natural wild yeast, the sur lies technique, and Oxoline system (where barrels can be spun to stir the lees without exposing the wine to oxidation) also contribute to a fresh and elegant style of wine that avoids a high sugar and alcohol content. “Personality is more important than perfection,” says Jeramaz. “Every vintage should be different, while at the same time maintaining consistency of our heralded style—this is the beauty of wine.”

About the Winery

Grgich Hills Estate has consistently produced world-class wines since 1977. Led by Vintners Hall of Fame inductee Miljenko “Mike” Grgich, who has long been a proponent of natural winegrowing and sustainability, the winery grows its grapes without artificial fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides, relying on wild yeast fermentation and the celebrated winemaker’s passion to handcraft food-friendly, balanced, and elegant wines. While many other Napa wineries pursue strategies of expansion, Mike—along with his daughter, Violet Grgich, and his nephew, Ivo Jeramaz—prefer to stay small. They aim, year after year, to improve the qualiryty of their vineyards and their wines, relying on Mike’s distinctive artistic and intuitive touch. The winery will host an open house on the 29th of July. For more information visit http://www.grgich.com.

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Grgich 40th Anniversary Chardonnay