Warren Winiarski to Sponsor Judgment of Paris 40th Anniversary Dinner at Smithsonian
Wine leaders gather in Washington, DC
Napa, CA (February 8, 2016) – Napa Valley winemaker Warren Winiarski, who made the Cabernet Sauvignon that won the great Paris Tasting in 1976, is helping commemorate that historic event by sponsoring the Smithsonian’s Judgment of Paris Fortieth Anniversary Dinner on May 17, 2016 in Washington, DC. The dinner will be held at the National Museum of American History and will bring together individuals who organized and attended the 1976 tasting in Paris, the winemakers who made the winning vintages, and individuals who are carrying on the legacy of fine winemaking in America.
“As the grandson of immigrants, I am honored to be a part of the most American of all museums,” says Winiarski. “The National Museum of American History captures what it is to be American, from history and science to artifact and culture. That a bottle of wine I made is part of the museum’s collection is the highest of honors. I am delighted to support their work in preserving and celebrating American history.”
In May of 1976, Steven Spurrier invited journalist George Taber to observe as some of the top wine experts in France tasted through some of the best red wines of Bordeaux and California at the InterContinental Hotel in Paris. And when Warren Winiarski’s Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon came out on top, Taber wrote an article that was published in Time magazine, first to national and then international attention.
A bottle of Winiarski’s award-winning 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon wine is now on display in the museum’s “FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000” exhibition. In its November 2013 issue, Smithsonian magazine included this bottle as one of the “101 Objects That Made America.” Other items chosen for this historic list included Neil Armstrong’s space suit, Abraham Lincoln’s top hat, Charles Lindberg’s Spirit of St. Louis, and Lewis and Clark’s compass. History-making, indeed.
The Judgment of Paris, as it came to be known, forever established the Napa Valley on the world stage, and inspired the hopes and dreams of an entire generation of California winemakers.
With a bottle of his wine in the permanent collections of the National Museum of American History, and his name and face among the legendary leaders in the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintners Hall of Fame, Winiarski has every right to be proud of his accomplishments. But that idea brings a smile to Winiarski. “You know, I don’t think any of us in that Hall of Fame were ever motivated by the thought that we were going to win some kind of honor or recognition. We were just passionate about wine on its own terms. We were trying to make beautiful and great wine, and in love with that idea, we gave it our lives.”
About Warren Winiarski
Warren Winiarski played an integral role in the creation of the 1968 Agricultural Preserve Act in Napa County. He was inducted into the California Vintners Hall of Fame at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in 2009. Winiarski sold Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in 2007 and continues his passion for greatness in grapes and wine at his Arcadia Vineyard in Napa Valley. He oversees the Winiarski Family Foundation and, as part of the history of California winemaking, he communicates his philosophy in speaking engagements and his writing. For the past fourteen years Winiarski has shared his love of literature and the classics at his alma mater, with participants from around the world, by leading courses in the St. John’s College Summer Classics program.