Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa Valley will be forever known as the winery that beat the French. Many people know the role that the winery’s 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon played in bringing worldwide attention to America’s premier wine country. This wine beat the best of the French Bordeaux in the famous 1976 Paris Tasting, where French judges tasted California and French wines blind. Stag’s Leap was the number one red; the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, also from Napa, was the number one white. That ’73 Cab was made by Warren Winiarski. 38 years later, Winiarski, who retired and sold the winery to a joint venture of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Marchesi Antinori, of the Italian winemaking family Antinori in 2007, was on hand to celebrate the opening of a $7 million visitor’s center overlooking the vineyard that grew the grapes for that earth shattering wine, the S.L.V. Vineyard,…
Birth of a Wine Culture in America
The French have it, the Italians have it, but does America really have a wine culture all its own? You bet we do. It took awhile for this to develop, but in 2010, for the first time ever, we Americans drank more wine than the French. Quite an accomplishment.
How did we get here? How has wine become a part of our culture? That’s the focus of How Wine Became Modern: Design + Wine 1976 to Now, a current exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.