THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION

Jim Barrett, California Wine Pioneer, Dies at 86

by Melissa Auman Greiner on Mar 24, 2013 in Wine
Jim Barrett, California Wine Pioneer, Dies at 86

The wine world recently lost a treasured member — Jim Barrett, owner of Chateau Montelena in Napa Valley. He was 86. His son, Bo Barrett, said in a statement, "My dad died of a life well-lived."

Don’t worry if you don’t recognize the name. Many wine drinkers don’t, and from what we know of the man, Barrett liked it that way. His focus was on the beverage itself, and because of that, Americans have the wine culture we have today.

Barrett rose to industry fame in 1976 thanks to an article in Time. Thousands of miles away in a wine shop in Paris, his 1973 Chardonnay had won a blind taste test against a series of high-end, expensive white Burgundies. At that time, California was not called “Wine Country” — it was what Old World vintners considered a joke. A joke they choked on when a humble bottle from America blew their efforts out of the water.

Eventually referred to as the “Judgment of Paris” — and the centerpiece of the movie Bottle Shock — the tasting of Barrett’s wine is considered the event that put California wine on the map and helped spur decades of growth, production, and respect for the region.

So while you may not know Barrett’s name, the hardworking vintners who produce your favorite California reds and whites certainly do. Join them and us in raising a glass to his ambition and memory. Anything from Napa will do.

Recent Articles

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
You Can Now Get Champagne From a Vending Machine

You Can Now Get Champagne From a Vending Machine

At Las Vegas’ Mandarin Oriental Hotel, guests can now self-serve themselves bottles of Möet & Chandon from a vending machine - and it’s the first...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Feb 21, 2017
An Ohio Man is Suing Walmart Over Fake Craft Beer

An Ohio Man is Suing Walmart Over Fake Craft Beer

Many people were shocked when they first heard the news that Walmart was even selling its own craft beer, but alas, it’s all a lie, as one Ohio man ...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Feb 21, 2017
BrewDog Announces Puppy Parental Leave for Its Employees

BrewDog Announces Puppy Parental Leave for Its Employees

Staff both in the UK and the US will now receive one week of paid leave when they rescue a dog....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Feb 20, 2017
SPONSORED
You Can Now Age Spirits with Ultrasound Technology

You Can Now Age Spirits with Ultrasound Technology

Aging in a barrel can certainly add subtlety, richness, and complexity to whiskey, brandy, rum, and other liquors. But researchers in Spain may have f...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Feb 17, 2017
Game of Thrones & Ommegang's Latest Beer Lets You Choose Your House

Game of Thrones & Ommegang's Latest Beer Lets You Choose Your House

HBO's wildly popular series Game of Thrones and Ommegang Brewery are continuing their beer collaboration with ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Feb 8, 2017
More Movie Theaters Are Starting to Serve Drinks Nationwide

More Movie Theaters Are Starting to Serve Drinks Nationwide

You may have noticed a growing trend in movie theaters recently - instead of ordering a popcorn, candy bar, and soda, you might be getting a popcorn, ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Feb 8, 2017
Lady Gaga is Starting Her Own Wine Company

Lady Gaga is Starting Her Own Wine Company

Fresh off the Super Bowl, Lady Gaga's company filed paperwork this week to begin producing wine, according to TMZ. ...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Feb 8, 2017
Have the Perfect Pint Experience with Guinness in Las Vegas

Have the Perfect Pint Experience with Guinness in Las Vegas

Guinness is providing an opportunity for North Americans to learn how to pour that perfect pint without leaving the States....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Feb 3, 2017
Nasty Woman Wines Launches in Oregon

Nasty Woman Wines Launches in Oregon

Nasty Woman Wines was founded by Meg Murray on Election Day, and she's using it to get more women to the table in policy and leadership positions arou...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 31, 2017
Veil Brewing Co. Creates an Oreo-Flavored Beer

Veil Brewing Co. Creates an Oreo-Flavored Beer

Richmond, Virginia's Veil Brewing Company is making all of our childish dreams come true with their latest release - which is brewed with Oreos....read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 31, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close