Legend Mike Grgich Has a Birthday, David Stare’s Dry Creek Vineyard Has 45th Harvest

The latest jobs, promotions and news in the booze business.
Don Wallace, Kim Stare Wallace and David Stare (l-r) of Dry Creek Vineyard.


NAPA, CASte. Michelle Wine Estates has appointed Russell Joy to the position of Vice President of California Operations, effective April 7, 2017.  Joy will oversee operations at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa, Patz & Hall in Sonoma and Conn Creek Winery in St. Helena. Joy currently serves as vice president of the Sonoma County Vintners & Growers Board and is a fourth-generation grape grower.

CALISTOGA, CAMegan deZendegui will be joining the Frank Family Vineyards of Napa Valley, as Midwestern regional sales manager, the company said in a press release. DeZendegui is based in Illinois, and will manage sales and distribution for Frank Family Vineyards in North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky.

UC Davis Professor Andrew Walker

DAVIS, CA – Professor and geneticist Dr. Andrew Walker of the University of California, Davis, has been confirmed as the recipient of the 2017 Merit Award, the American Society for Enology and Viticulture’s (ASEV) highest honor. He will be sharing his presentation, “The Southwestern Vitis – A Grape Breeding Motherlode,” on June 29, at the ASEV’s 68th National Conference in Bellevue, Washington that begins June 26.


Some California vineyards are starting to reach the age where anniversaries are milestones.

HEALDSBURG, CADry Creek Vineyard is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. The first winery built in the Dry Creek area since Prohibition, it’s begun celebrating with the release of its 45th consecutive vintages of Dry Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc. Founder David Stare, now 77, was 33 when he bought the land and ignored the advice of both Dale Goode, founder of Murphy-Goode, and Bob Sessions, the Sonoma County Farm adviser, and went ahead and planted 10 acres of sauvignon blanc. It has become the family’s most successful wine. Stare’s daughter, Kim Stare Wallace, is now president of Dry Creek Vineyard.

How long ago is 45 years? Well, the most popular song in 1972, according to Billboard, was “The First Time Ever I saw your Face,” sung by Roberta Flack.

Mike Grgich/Photo by Rocco Ceselin
Mike Grgich. /Rocco Ceselin

RUTHERFORD, CA – It is quite possible that Rod Stewart’s 1977 hit “Tonight’s The Night,” was playing on the car radio when Miljenko “Mike” Grgich was making his first Chardonnay for Grgich Hills Estate after winning the “Paris Tasting of 1976”, with the Chardonnay he had made for Chateau Montelena.  This time, he was in a partnership with Austin Hills of the Hills Bros. Coffee family, who owned some Napa vineyards. This weekend, Grgich will turn 94. And this spring, the winery will release its 40th Anniversary Chardonnay.


Published on April 3, 2017
Topics: This Just In
About the Author
Leslie Gevirtz
Contributing Editor, Business

An award-winning journalist, Gevirtz spent more than 20 years covering disasters—natural, political, and financial—before becoming Reuters’ wine correspondent; a beat that guaranteed her colleagues were always glad to see her.

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