In recognition that all of its wines now come from its own vineyards, the winery changes its name to Grgich Hills Estate. The winery releases Napa Valley Essence, a limited-production Sauvignon Blanc only available at the winery.
Inaugural release of Merlot is the 1999 vintage. DNA testing proves that the Crljenak vine is genetically identical to Zinfandel and that Plavac Mali is one of its offspring. This confirms Mike’s long-standing belief that Zinfandel originated in Croatia.
Grgich Hills plants Cabernet Sauvignon on vineyard surrounding the winery, which is located on the famous “Rutherford Bench” of Napa Valley. Grgich Hills begins organically farming all of its vineyards.