The native Croatian Miljenko "Mike" Grgich (born 1923) is now a legend and is also known as "the big old man in a beret" because of his favorite headgear. His family owned a small winery in Desne-Dalmatia. Grgich studied oenology at the University of Zagreb and emigrated to California in 1958. He was at the winery for nine years Beaulieu Vineyard
as the main chemist responsible for the quality control. During this time he was also together with the legendary Russian oenologist André Tchelistcheff
(1901-1994) at the first California-based experiment malolactic fermentation
involved. He also dealt extensively with experiments on various yeasts and barriques. From 1968 to 1972 he was at Mondavi
and then at the winery Chateau Montelena
active as a responsible butler. In the second he created the Chardonnay 1973, the legendary Paris Wine Tasting
in 1976 ranked first in front of well-known wines from Burgundy and California.
In 1977, Rutherford was in California Napa Valley
Founded in partnership with the Family Hills the winery Grgich Hills. Owner is the family Hills, Mike Grgich is the responsible butler. The vineyards cover nearly 150 hectares of vineyards. They are mainly planted with the varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel. Every year around 60,000 boxes (720,000 bottles) of wine are produced. The absolute specialty of Grgich were and are Chardonnay wines, many of which have been awarded many vintages worldwide. Already his first year 1977 won in Chicago in 1980 the "Great Chardonnay Showdown" in front of 221 competitors. In the meantime, Mike Grgich founded in his homeland Croatia
on the peninsula Peljesac also a winery, where mainly red wines are produced.