1973 Bottle of Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon

This year marks the 40th anniversary of (what is perhaps) the most important event in Napa Valley's history. The Judgment of Paris was a wine tasting that pitted the best of France against the best of California. The top white wine was a 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, and the top red was a 1973 Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon. The tasting had a huge impact on Napa Valley and established Napa as the premiere wine region in the world.

And I got to photograph that bottle of Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon.

As part of the anniversary celebrations taking place this year, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars (now owned by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates) needed some images of the bottle. Normally, they'd have their in-house production team do the work, but they were worried about shipping the bottle to Washington. Instead, two employees guarded the bottle as I slaved away photographing it in my studio. I also photographed the winemaker of that wine and former owner of Stag's Leap, Warren Winiarski, a few months ago in preparation of this year's anniversary. And they said the images might be used as part of a display in the Smithsonian. So there's that.

It was truly an honor.