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Wines That Put Napa On The Map Honored By Smithsonian

RUTHERFORD (CBS SF) - Two wines produced in Napa County will now take their place alongside Abraham Lincoln's hat and Neil Armstrong's spacesuit in a book just published by the Smithsonian Institution.

The book, 101 Objects That Made America, features 101 objects that curator Richard Kurin chose from the museum's holdings of 137 million artifacts to illustrate this country's history.

The Bay Area wines beat out French vintages to win the infamous 1976 Paris Tasting.

In that blind competition, experts picked the 1973 cabernet sauvignon from Napa's Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, and the 1973 chardonnay from Rutherford's Chateau Montelena. Until then, French wines dominated the market, and many had not considered it possible for a California wine to win such a competition.

The man who crafted the Chateau Montelena chardonnay, Miljenko Grgich, says he is beyond honored to have his wine included in the book.

Grgich, originally from Croatia, said, "When I arrived in the United States, I thought I was the luckiest man alive to have my dream come true of making wine in California. But this recognition far exceeds my American Dream."

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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