Mike Grgich, who turned 100 in April 2023, emigrated from Croatia to California in 1958 and worked his way up as a winemaker until, in 1973, he produced the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that triumphed in the 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting. His own winery, then Grgich Hills Cellar, was founded as a partnership in 1977. Grown near San Pablo Bay, the estate Chardonnay is fermented and aged in barrels and foudres, 40% of which are new French oak. Ronan Sayburn MS: Gunflint reductive nose with green cardamom, cucumber skin, oyster shell and seaweed. Smoky subtle oak. Lean, tight and mineral. Eugenio Egorov: Hints of citrus and caramel with a touch of vanilla on the nose. Creamy and vibrant with beautiful citrus and balanced acidity. Ben Gubbins: Struck match, toast and lime aromas. The palate is firm and citrussy, holding tight through a citrus and pineapple finish.
93pts James Suckling
Aromas of dried orange peel, lemon grass and hay. Medium-bodied with lovely complexity. Herbs and dried citrus meld together, with a hint of white tea adding intrigue. Well composed. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.
92pts Wine Advocate
A non-malolactic wine—made in the spirit of the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that impressed at the Paris tasting in 1976—Grgich's 2020 Estate Grown Chardonnay features gentle toasty notes, a hint of roasted hazelnut, plus bright pineapple and citrus fruit. It's medium-bodied, zesty and refreshing, with a long, clean finish.
92pts Wine Enthusiast
This fruity, fresh and wellbalanced wine offers an appetizing mixture of lemony crispness along with baked apple richness. A relatively light body and smooth texture bring out more ripeness and butter on the palate and finish.
This 2020 Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay entices you with aromas of fresh peach, citrus, and honeysuckle followed by bright fresh acidity and a beautiful chiseled minerality leading to a finish that is layered with undertones of passion fruit, white peach and a hint of Madagascar vanilla.
Winemaker Ivo Jeramaz joined his uncle at Grgich Hills Estate in 1986 and has since become the wineries winemaker and VP of vineyards and production. Ivo has always had a passion for organic and regenerative farming practices. He has committed to farming each of our five estate vineyards organically without the assistance of pesticides or herbicides.
"At Grgich Hills, we grow grapes like my grandfather did, farming without chemicals and pesticides," Ivo says. "Mike taught me early in my career that you need great grapes to make great wine. Over the years, I’ve focused on working with the land. Through our natural farming, it’s been very rewarding to see the soil alive with healthier plants than under conventional farming. It allows the wines to be more authentic—more distinctive."
The health of the vineyards has and always will be a top priority for Grgich Hills Estate. With each glass of their wine, they hope that you can have the confidence that they have grown the best grapes possible in healthy, organically farmed vineyards.
In March 2023 the winery received Regenerative Organic Certification. The winery is only one of a small group of producers in California that has this certification. Ivo Jeramaz and his team have been working many years towards this certification and it reflects in the wines that are made each vintage.