I am sorry for your loss. I hope you can find comfort in...
I am so sorry for the grief that you are experiencing right...
With Sympathy. Although, experiencing the death of a loved...
How we look forward to the time when those who have grown...
Our Yort and Jeanie Frank family will miss you. Thank you...
Chateau Montelena owner Jim Barrett in 1996 (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - James Barrett, a vintner whose superb wines boosted the international reputation of the California wine industry, has died. He was 86.
Barrett died on Thursday, according to a statement from the Chateau Montelena Winery he refurbished in 1972. A cause of death was not given.
Barrett's most noted winemaking achievement was a 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that beat the French in a blind tasting called the Judgment of Paris in 1976. It was a watershed moment for California's wine industry, helping propel it into the powerhouse it is today.
Before the tasting, Napa Valley wines were largely ignored by Europeans.
"It was just a bombshell," Barrett told The Associated Press in 2003 during an event marking the 30-year anniversary of the wine.
The story of Barrett's achievement and the disruption it caused with wine critics was told in the 2008 movie "Bottle Shock."
In 1972, the Los Angeles-area attorney bought the dilapidated 1882 winery in Calistoga that featured a decrepit, ivy-covered castle.
Barrett and his investors replanted its cabernet sauvignon vines and grew the chardonnay he became famous for while waiting for the old vines to flourish.
At first he commuted from Los Angeles to the winery by private airplane but eventually gave up law to work on the estate full-time.
After Barrett and his winemaker Mike Grgich crafted the chardonnay that won the blind taste test in 1976, Barrett said: "Not bad for some kids from the sticks."
Since then Chateau Montelena has become known for its cabernets.
Barrett's son Bo has taken over the winery, which will remain in the family.
Barrett is survived by his wife Judy of 33 years; his children from a previous marriage, Stephanie, Bo, Michael, Kevin and Gabriela, and five grandchildren.
Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
View Guest Book
Related Memorial Sites
Donate to Charity
How To Submit An Obituary
Find Advice & Support
What to Say to the Bereaved
Return to today's Obituaries for BarrowCountyNews
Follow this Obituary
Remember on Facebook
Follow via email
*Please enter a valid email address.
Bookmark this memorial on Facebook with the My Memorials™ application. My Memorials™ helps you honor departed family members, friends, and even favorite celebrities – all on your Facebook page.
Thank you. You have now memorialized
The My Memorials Facebook app allows you to:
with memorials that are important to you.
on your memorials in your Facebook News Feed.
Share your memories
with your Facebook friends.
VIEW YOUR MY MEMORIALS PAGE
Return to Obituary
Search Obituaries & Guest Books
You are searching
Past 3 days
Past 2 weeks
Past 30 days
Past 6 months
Republic of Ireland
District of Columbia
U.S. Virgin Islands
U.S. Minor Outlying Islands
All Georgia obituaries
Forsyth County News
LaGrange Daily News
Savannah Morning News
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Augusta Chronicle
The Thomaston Times
Specific Date Range:
- ADVERTISEMENT -
© Copyright 1999-2013
All Rights Reserved |
Questions? Contact us
Search obituaries nationwide