It’s the 40th Anniversary of the Judgment of Paris Tasting
We’ve never subscribed to the belief that wine tasting is not family friendly … although wine tasting itself isn’t for kids, where you go makes all the difference in the world and Napa Valley is a blast with kids. Some of the fun activities are unexpected, like ziplining with Sonoma Canopy Tours, while others involve exploring this region’s amazing foodie scene in a kid-friendly venue like the Oxbow Market. And as it turns out, 2016 is a very special year to get that Napa getaway on the books, as May 26th is the 40th anniversary of the Judgment of Paris, a very big day in American winemaking history when two family-run wineries from California received top honors over their well-respected French competitors at a blind tasting in Paris.
This single event was remarkable not just for the two award-winning wineries that found new fame, Chateau Montelena Winery and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, but the story was picked up by media from around the world and brought international prestige to both Napa Valley and the American wine industry as a whole.
As if we all need an excuse to pop open bubbly, or in this case a class of Chateau Montelena Chardonnay or Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet, the varietals that made history on this occasion. Yet the Judgment of Paris anniversary give us a great reason to do just that!
I had the opportunity to join the current winemakers from both wineries, Matt Crafton from Chateau Montelena and Marcus Notaro of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, over lunch at Meadowood Resort and get an update on the latest industry trends and developments, as well as taste an array of incredible wines from both wineries. I discovered that it’s a beautiful time to visit Napa Valley— our El Niño winter has brought its promised rainfall and the landscape is lush and full of spring color — and that wines from these two icons should not be missed.
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Editor’s Note: We were invited to a media lunch to learn about this special event. As always, our opinions are our own. Photos by Amie O’Shaughnessy.