Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

French company buys Chateau Montelena

By Jessica Yadegaran
Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008 at 5:50 pm in Uncategorized.

Just in time for the release of “Bottle Shock,” the story of the landmark Judgment of Paris tasting where an American winery, Napa’s Chateau Montelena, defeated the French first time, Montelena is about to be acquired by none other than a French company. It all comes full circle doesn’t it?

Earlier today, Michel Reybier, owner of Chateau Cos d’Estournel, the grand cru classé of Saint-Estèphe, announced that he is in discussion with Chateau Montelena’s founder, Jim Barrett (played by Bill Pullman in the movie which opens Aug. 6), to acquire the Napa Valley winery, pending red tape and paper work.

The Barrett family acquired Chateau Montelena in 1972 and transformed the estate into what those in the wine industry call an American first growth. “This is a perfect fit – a dream marriage,” said Jim Barrett in an official statement. “We could not have asked for a finer team to carry on this legacy.”

Jim’s son, Bo, will continue to make the wine. I’ll be writing about “Bottle Shock” and interviewing the cast for my column on Aug. 6, so look out for it. It’s quite an ending to a film I already found to be a bit flabby.

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • Tom Throp

    The sale of this historic winery to a French company is what great irony is made of. My wife and I actually happened upon “Bottle Shock” at the Maui film festival while we were on vacation and I have to say I really enjoyed it! The acting and the writing were great, and being sort of a wine novice/wannabe I really enjoyed this introduction to what makes California wine so great.