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.
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