By | January 11, 2024

Title: Celebrating the Legacy of Mike Grgich: A Wine Pioneer Passes Away at 100


In the world of winemaking, there are few names as iconic as Miljenko “Mike” Grgich. On January 11, 2024, the Croatian-born winemaker breathed his last at the remarkable age of 100. Grgich’s remarkable journey in winemaking captivated the world, forever leaving an indelible mark on the industry. This article pays tribute to his life and legacy, highlighting his groundbreaking achievements and the profound impact he had on the wine community.

Biography and Early Life:

Miljenko Grgich was born in Croatia in the year 1923. Growing up in the small village of Desne, he was exposed to the rich winemaking traditions of his homeland from an early age. Grgich’s passion for winemaking led him to pursue a degree in oenology from the University of Zagreb. His insatiable thirst for knowledge and desire to push the boundaries of winemaking compelled him to embark on a journey that would eventually change the world of wine forever.

A Career that Shaped the Wine Industry:

Grgich’s career took a significant turn when he moved to California in 1958. He joined the renowned Chateau Montelena winery in Napa Valley, where he played a pivotal role in crafting the Chardonnay that famously triumphed over French competitors at the 1976 Paris Wine Tasting. This groundbreaking achievement, known as the “Judgment of Paris,” put American wines on the global map and shattered the long-held notion of French supremacy in winemaking.

In 1977, Grgich established his own winery, Grgich Hills Estate, in the heart of Napa Valley. With a meticulous focus on organic and sustainable practices, he continued to produce exceptional wines that showcased the terroir of the region. Grgich’s commitment to quality and innovation earned him numerous accolades and recognition throughout his career.

Legacy and Impact:

Mike Grgich’s contributions to the wine industry extend far beyond his own success. His dedication to sustainable winemaking practices and his unwavering pursuit of excellence inspired generations of winemakers around the world. Grgich’s legacy can be seen in the countless vineyards that strive to protect the environment while producing exceptional wines.

Moreover, Grgich’s triumph at the Judgment of Paris paved the way for American winemakers, forever altering the perception of wines from the New World. His achievement not only showcased the potential of California wines but also ignited a global appreciation for the diversity and quality of wines produced beyond traditional European regions.

Cause of death:

At this time, the cause of Mike Grgich’s death remains unknown. Though his passing leaves a void in the wine community, his spirit and influence will continue to live on through the wines he crafted and the inspiration he provided to aspiring winemakers worldwide.


Miljenko “Mike” Grgich’s remarkable journey from a small Croatian village to the pinnacle of the wine industry serves as a testament to his unwavering determination and passion for winemaking. His groundbreaking achievements and unwavering commitment to excellence forever changed the landscape of the wine industry, leaving an enduring legacy that will be celebrated for generations to come. As we bid farewell to this wine pioneer, we raise our glasses to honor his extraordinary life and the indelible mark he left on the world of wine..


@Visit__Croatia said Mike Grgich Dies at 100; His Wine Stunned the French by Besting Theirs | This article appeared in mid-December as a tribute to the Croatian-born winemaker Miljenko "Mike" Grgich. It's a lovely read, and too good not to share again #tbt

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *