1973 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon


This bottle of 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon wine was produced by Warren Winiarski, founder, owner, and winemaker at Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, in Napa, California. It is the vintage that outranked some of France's best Bordeaux at a blind tasting held in Paris in 1976. Organized by Steven Spurrier, an Englishman who ran a fine wine shop in Paris, the tasting involved a panel of nine experienced French judges who compared a select group of wines from France and California without benefit of knowing which was which. When the 1973 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon placed first, the judges were astonished, and the rest of the wine world took notice.

The "Judgment of Paris" had a huge impact on the California and U.S. wine industry. It crushed the widely-held belief that only the French could make premium wine and inspired American vintners to expand their operations. The aftermath of the tasting played out most vigorously in California, where, between 1975 and 2004, the number of wineries grew from 330 to 1,689. By 2004, California accounted for most of the $643 million in annual U.S. wine exports.

Date Made: 1973

Referenced: Spurrier, StevenOwner: Winiarski, WarrenReferenced: Stag's Leap Wine CellarsMaker: Winiarski, Warren

Place Made: United States: California, NapaReferenced: United States: California, NapaUnited States: California

Subject: Wine


See more items in: Work and Industry: Food Technology, Food, National Treasures exhibit

Exhibition: Food: Transforming the American Table

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Related Web Publication: http://americanhistory.si.edu/treasures

Related Publication: Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revoluntionized Wine, National Museum of American History. Treasures of American History online exhibition

Credit Line: Gift of Warren Winiarski

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1996.0029.01Catalog Number: 1996.0029.01Accession Number: 1996.0029

Object Name: bottle of wine

Physical Description: glass (overall material)Measurements: overall: 12 in x 3 in; 30.48 cm x 7.62 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ab-db28-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1297104

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.