Imagine a warm, mid-morning in the Rutherford area of the Napa Valley, surrounded by a picturesque garden with a backdrop of vineyards and rolling hills. This is exactly how I spent my Saturday attending the 40th Anniversary of the Grgich HIlls Estate Winery.
The scene is all set and I am roaming the grounds when I noticed a distinguished older gentleman, sitting in a chair. I wondered, if perhaps that was the founder, Mike Grgich. Just as I suspected, this unassuming gentleman, who was assisted by a lovely woman, and co-proprietor, his daughter, Violet Grgich.
Local congressman Mike Thompson presented The American Dreamers award to Founder Mike Grgich. He spoke so eloquently about how he wanted to build a winery and contribute to the Napa Valley. He actually sang a verse from You are My Sunshine. It literally brought tears to my eyes when he spoke of immigrating to the U.S. from Croatia. His words struck a chord in my heart. My father also immigrated from Europe to make a better life for his family. This gentleman represented my father to me and all I wanted to do was run up and hug him.
After the presentation, we proceeded to an exceptional wine tasting with small bites that were prepared by SMOKE. The food at each station was a delicious pairing and I wanted to hoard it all. Ribs, lettuce cups, beef, lamb, and fruit bites.
In all, we tasted eight different wines. The tasting notes ended with a Late Harvest wine — Violetta, aptly named after his lovely daughter. The aromas, intense, bold and leaving you wanting more prompted me to purchase some to enjoy at home.
Next time you are in the wine country, be sure to visit Grgich HIlls Estates Winery – you will truly enjoy it.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.