The Paris Tasting Block of Chardonnay on the Bacigalupi Ranch


Back in 1964 when the Bacigalupi family planted six acres of Chardonnay on their property, many people thought it was a mistake since the conventional wisdom of the time was to plant prunes, a much more lucrative fruit. But the Bacigalupis gained widespread recognition as growers in 1976 when Château Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay (made with 40% Bacigalupi fruit) won the famed Judgment of Paris tasting over many highly acclaimed French wines. This single event helped to change the world’s perception of California wines.

This watercolor sketch shows the Paris Tasting Block of Chardonnay on the Bacigalupi ranch in Healdsburg as it exists today. The family plans to keep the vineyard as long as it’s producing grapes.

8 thoughts on “The Paris Tasting Block of Chardonnay on the Bacigalupi Ranch

  1. I love seeing the photo and then your interpretation of the scene. Your page has so much more life and interest than the photo. I especially enjoy the barn and out buildings, they dance!

  2. Thank you Elizabeth! I loved being out in the vineyard and sketching. I spent about two hours, on two separate days to finish this. By the end of the second day, I really felt a part of the place. A bit sad to leave, really.

  3. Thanks Peter! For this drawing I used my watercolor landscape Moleskine sketchbook. For commercial sketch books, it’s the best I’ve found. But still, I prefer the Arches hot press paper.

  4. Thank you Jean, glad you like the sketch. Well, I so have a blast sketching, that’s for sure! I bet you enjoy making your tasty creations in the kitchen too!

  5. Thanks Luisa! I just recently started taking photos of my sketches with the location. Glad you like it!

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