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I decided since today is a Thursday that I would do a throwback Thursday history lesson.

If you love or even like Napa Valley Wines (or California wines, or any wines produced in the USA) you should know the story of the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976,  also known by the more ominous name the “Judgement of Paris”. A Brit by the name of Steven Spurrier (not that one) organized blind tastings, one for reds (Cabs from California Vs French Bordeaux) and the other for Chardonnays. The event was judged by 11 total judges all but two of them French, with one of the lone two non-French judges being Spurrier himself (a wine merchant that sold only French wines). The deck was stacked against the California wines, Spurrier organized it in a way that he felt favored the French. Much to everyone’s surprise a California wine was rated highest in both categories; with Chateau Montelena Chardonnay from Napa Valley, USA finishing with the highest overall score of any wine. In the end, the 76′ Paris tasting changed the course of Napa Valley wines.

1973

This bottle of 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay is on display just past the tasting room in the chateau

My wife just told me this post is boring….I don’t care I like history! To be honest, I first learned about this story from the movie “Bottle Shock” starring “Hans Gruber” himself, Alan Rickman (For the record, that was my first “Die Hard” reference in my blogging history).

We had the opportunity to visit Chateau Montelena on one of our trips. While we didn’t get to taste their 1973 Chardonnay, we had plenty of time to enjoy a delicious tasting of their current vintages and get some great pictures as we explored their amazing estate.

The amazing estate chateau - it still houses a working winery

The amazing estate chateau – it still houses a working winery. These pictures really don’t do it Justice

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The walk way to the tasting room

The walk way to the tasting room

Amazing entry door to the tasting room

Amazing entry door to the tasting room. This thing is as heavy as it looks!

Great view of the Jade lake on the estate grounds

Great view of the Jade lake on the estate grounds

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