1976 - California wines were introduced to the world’s notice by a significant event.
The Paris tasting, which put California wines against French options, was a turning point in bringing California wines to the attention of the world. The winning white wine was a 1973 Chateau Montelena chardonnay from Napa Valley vineyards (a 1973 Stags Leap Wine Cellars cabernet). When deciding on a wine in 1976, wine enthusiasts tended to focus on winery names rather than grape farming. This is undoubtedly the reason why few people were aware that 20 tons, or nearly half, of the chardonnay fruit used to make Chateau Montelena chardonnay came from vineyards in Sonoma County. 14 tons came from Bacigalupi Vineyards.