Five Napa Valley wine estates are marking the 40th anniversary of the Judgement of Paris tasting by offering visitors a ‘passport’ to special tastings over the next three months.

Judgement of Paris wine tour

Chateau Montelena Winery, Clos Du Val, Freemark Abbey, Spring Mountain Vineyard and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars have joined forces to sell the US$200 passes for Judgement of Paris wine tours.

The passes allow holders to participate in one special tasting at each of the wineries.

The official Judgement of Paris 40th anniversary is 24 May.

Reservations are either required or strongly recommended for the tastings, which vary from winery to winery: Chateau Montelena is offering places at its Limited Release tasting, including older vintages of its Napa Valley Chardonnay and Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

Meanwhile, Clos du Val invites passport holders to its self-guided Vineyard Cabana Tasting, including four limited release wines; and Freemark Abbey is offering its Collector’s Cabernet Tasting, covering a range of single vineyard and limited release Cabernets.

Spring Mountain Vineyard’s tasting includes five estate-grown wines from current and library vintages, and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars showcases a flight of Estate Collection wines, including those from its FAY and SLV estate vineyards.

The passport scheme commemorates the Judgement of Paris tasting, organised by wine merchant Stephen Spurrier on 24 May 1976 at the Paris InterContinental Hotel, when four white Burgundies and four red Bordeaux wines were pitted respectively against six California Chardonnays and four California Cabernets.

Chateau Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973 SLV Cabernet Sauvignon topped their respective categories, shaking up the wine establishment and putting California on the fine wine map.

The tasting passports are available for $200 from the CellarPass website.

  • tom_merle

    But no wine from Mike Grgich who crafted the winning chardonnay. Grgich Hills should have been included even though the winery per se wasn’t born yet. Mike was at Chateau Montelena. When this wine won Jim Barrett, the owner, wouldn’t let his winemaker leave!

  • Jill Barth

    This would be great fun!