One of the people responsible for up-and-coming American wines beating the best of France at the 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting has been inducted into California's all-time hall of fame.

Warren Winiarski, founder of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, has been inducted into California’s hall of fame alongside director and film maker Steven Spielberg and American football quarterback Jim Plunkett, plus others.

It is the latest of several tributes paid to Winiarski, who celebrated the 40th anniversary of the now-fabled Judgement of Paris last year.

warren winiarski

Warren Winiarski sits alongside Steven Spielberg in California’s hall of fame.

At a tasting organised by Steven Spurrier in the French capital, Winiarski’s wine – the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – triumphed against fine Bordeaux in a blind tasting.

The result, which also saw Napa’s Chateau Montelena Chardonnay out-score some of the best white wines Burgundy  had to offer, went viral in the pre-digital age following a small write-up in Time magazine.


SEE ALSO: Take Decanter’s Judgement of Paris quiz – Test your knowledge of wine history


‘I am deeply honored to be inducted into the California Hall of fame and accept this award on behalf of the entire California wine community,’ said Winiarski, who moved to Napa Valley in 1964 and became Robert Mondavi’s winemaker in 1966 before going on to plant his own vines.

‘Especially following the terrible fires, which affected our Northern California region, it’s an honour for all of us.’

Inductees in the 11th class of the California hall of fame will join 104 existing members who ’embody the state’s spirit of innovation’, according to the officer of California governor Edmund G. Brown Jr and first lady Anne Gust Brown.

They will receive ‘spirit of California’ medals at a ceremony to be held on 5 December at the California Museum, where objects related to their achievements will also be on display from 6 December.

In 2013, the Napa wines from the 1976 tasting chosen from among millions of artefacts as one of the 101 items that ‘made America’.