Stag’s Leap Founder and Legendary Napa Winemaker Warren Winiarski Dies at 95

Warren Winiarski, cofounder of famed Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, passed away peacefully in his home on June 7 at the age of 95, according to a press release. The pioneering winemaker spent his life championing high-quality wines in California and played a key role in putting Napa Valley wine on the map.

In 1970, Chicago-born Winiarski purchased a 44-acre fruit orchard in Napa Valley and planted Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot vines. Just six years later, the Stag’s Leap’s 1973 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon famously took home the crown in the Judgement of Paris tasting. The wine beat out a selection of France’s best Bordeaux bottles, which sent shockwaves through the world of wine and put all eyes on Napa Valley. Since then, Stag’s Leap has continued to produce benchmark Cabernet Sauvignons, in addition to a full range of wines including Chardonnay, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc.

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