Saturday, March 16, 2013

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.


  1. hi richard--i always enjoy the historical tales with your drawings--and the photos of the drawing held up to the subject. when we met at the exhibit in january, you invited us to healdsburg to sketch. were you serious? when would be good times for us to visit? cheers, ceinwen carney

  2. I too, really enjoy seeing what you are sketching along with your sketch. It provides info on how to proceed with getting the elements of a place in the sketchbook. I enjoy reading the stories of your sketches, really brings your sketches to life.

  3. Thanks for the comment Ceinwen and Cathy! I've just recently started posting photos with my sketch and I agree, I think it's a fun and informative thing to do. I'd love to have the Bay Area Urban Sketchers to visit Healdsburg. I'd like to propose April 20, one month from today. Who would I contact to make sure everyone gets the word?

  4. just saw your response. thanks! i sent an e-mail to the group about availability on april 20 and will check back with you soon.


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