Violet Grgich will host a special James Beard House dinner with some of her favorite chefs from around the country.

 Rutherford, California, July 31, 2017. Grgich Hills Estate is honored to celebrate its 40th anniversary as an iconic wine estate on September 6, 2017 at the famed James Beard House in New York City. Violet Grgich will preside over a special dinner prepared by five chefs who have hosted Grgich Hills’ vintner dinners at their own restaurants from across the United States.

In this collaborative dinner, each chef will create an appetizer to showcase the winery’s 40th anniversary Chardonnay, 2014 vintage, to welcome guests. Then, each course will feature a culinary creation from a different chef, selected to go with a distinctive Grgich Hills wine, including special older vintages from our library such as the 2010 Paris Tasting Commemorative Chardonnay, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Yountville Selection and the rare 2013 Zinfandel, Miljenko’s Old Vine.  The winery and the chefs donate their time, expenses and the food and wine. This allows the dinner’s proceeds to help fund the James Beard Foundation’s mission of food and wine education.

The team of chefs is:

Chef Daniel Joly, The Mirabelle, Beaver Creek, CO
Chef Daniel Bruce, Meritage Restaurant-Wine Bar, Boston Harbor Hotel, Boston MA

Chef John Varanese, Varanese, River House, and Levee restaurants, Louisville, KY

Chef Michael Smith, Michael Smith Restaurant, Kansas City, MO

Chef Dana Cree, Executive pastry chef of The Publican Brand, Chicago, IL
Violet Grgich commented, “This dinner is a culmination of the success that Grgich Hills has seen in the past 40 years.  Our philosophy, which came from my father, has always been: ‘Every day do your best, learn something new, and make a friend,’ and that friendship and spirit of working together has enabled us to create an amazing event at the James Beard House.”

She added, “Creating world class wines has been our dream and our reality.  Our wines are balanced, elegant and extremely food friendly, so we are very excited that some of our closest chef friends were willing to donate their time and skill to benefit this worthy cause.”

For reservations and more information, visit the James Beard website here.

Vintners Hall of Fame inductee Miljenko “Mike” Grgich first earned world-wide recognition when the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that he crafted won the 1976 Paris Tasting, beating the best of France and drawing international attention to the Napa Valley. Mike then partnered with Austin Hills and his sister, Mary Lee Strebl, who had just sold their interests in the Hills Bros. Coffee company. They joined together in the pursuit of creating the best wine in the world and chose Independence Day, July 4, 1977 to launch their family-owned-and-operated winery.

In a blind tasting of 221 Chardonnays at the Great Chicago Chardonnay Showdown, the winery’s first Chardonnay, the 1977, was proclaimed the winner. In the following years, the winery’s wines have been served to presidents, kings and queens, and in 1982 President Reagan took the 1979 Chardonnay to the American Embassy in France for dinner with French President Mitterand.

After quietly acquiring top vineyards over the years, the winery has collected a string of pearls running through the Napa Valley with a total of 366 planted acres. In 2007, in recognition that all of its wines now came from grapes grown in its own vineyards, the winery changed its name to Grgich Hills Estate.

In 2008 Mike Grgich was inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame, in recognition of his significant lifetime contributions to the wine industry.

The winery has greatly developed its portfolio and to clearly describe its family of wines, Grgich Hills introduced three tiers in 2014: the Napa Valley Sections for its most accessible wines; Miljenko’s Selections showcasing single vineyard wines especially for their wine club members; and the Legacy Selections highlighting the winery’s most exclusive and sought-after wines.

To mark its 40th anniversary in July, the winery introduced expanded tasting areas at its neighboring Ranch House with lawn and patio seating surrounded by its Rutherford vineyard, including a new mobile pizza oven to enhance the visitor and club member experience.

After forty years, Grgich Hills Estate remains deeply rooted in family and focused on crafting world-class wines. Today, the day-to-day operations are managed by Mike Grgich’s daughter, Violet Grgich and the vineyards and winemaking are overseen by Mike’s nephew, Ivo Jeramaz. Committed to natural winegrowing and sustainability, today Grgich Hills Estate’s five estate vineyards in the Napa Valley are certified organic and all of its wines are estate grown. Relying on wild yeast fermentation and minimal intervention, the winemaking team draws on Mike’s passion and art to handcraft food-friendly, balanced and elegant wines. The winery is open daily 9:30am-4:30pm and closed on major holidays. For more information, visit


Editor’s note: images are available. Media contact: Ken Morris: 707-963-2784 or

For more information, visit

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