Iconic Napa Valley Winemaker Mike Grgich Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation Presents Award

Mike-Grgich-Lifetime-Achievement-AwardRutherford, California, July 6th, 2013 — The National Federation of Croatian Americans President Mr. Paul Tonšetic-Kunder was honored to present Miljenko “Mike” Grgich with the NFCA Lifetime Achievement Award. The Award was presented to Mr. Grgich in recognition of not only his acclaim as a wine maker at the Judgment of Paris tasting and the Smithsonian exhibit but also his success as a businessman, and for his strong and continued support of Croatian culture and numerous Croatian causes. And in so doing, he has brought great fame to California winemaking and considerable pride to the Croatian diaspora in the United States of America.

After receiving the award, Mr. Grgich recalled advice that his father gave him before leaving Croatia for America: “The night before I left former Yugoslavia, my father told me that the only advice he could give me is to try and do three things every day. First, whatever you choose to do, give it one hundred percent of your best effort. Second, try to learn something new every day. Third, try to make a new friend every day so that in just one year you will have three hundred and sixty five new friends.”

The award was presented during the Grgich Hills Wine Club annual soiree on the lawn at the Grgich home. More than three hundred people attended the event that included a feast of freshly roasted lamb, pork and turkeys along with wines from the Grgich Estate. The Croatian Fraternal Union provided traditional dancing and sang the National Anthem of the Republic of Croatia.

Mr. Tonšetic-Kunder remarked that: “A former Prime Minister of Croatia recalled his mother saying that she had over the years five different passports (Greece, Italy, Hungary, Austria and Czechoslovakia) but never moved. She exclaimed that the world comes to Croatia (as occupiers of course). I would revise this old saying to add that today Mr. Grgich brings Croatia to the world thru his wines.”

The day concluded with the singing of happy birthday to Mr. Grgich as he was celebrating his 90th birthday. The NFCA is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to promoting the interest of the Croatian people; embodying heritage of culture and language, integrity in human rights and equality in self-determination, advancing economic development, and freedom from persecution.

SOURCE: National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation, 2 Massachusetts Ave NE, PO. Box 78152, Washington, DC 20013, www.nfcacf.org

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