November 8, 1926|
March 14, 2013 (aged 86)|
San Francisco, California
|Education||Bachelor of Arts, 1946|
|Alma mater||UCLA, Loyola Law School|
|Known for||Owner/producer at Chateau Montelena when their 1973 Chardonnay won the Judgment of Paris in 1976.|
James L. Barrett (November 8, 1926 - March 14, 2013) was the owner of Chateau Montelena which won the Chardonnay competition of the 1976 Judgment of Paris wine tasting. Barrett first purchased the winery with Ernie Hahn in 1972 from Lee Paschich, retaining him as a general manager, and hired Mike Grgich to be his winemaker. Barrett uprooted the Chasselas, Alicante Bouschet, and Carignane that had been previously planted and replanted his acres with premium Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery purchased outsource Chardonnay grapes while waiting for the Cabernet vines to be ready. In 1982, he turned over winemaker duties to his son Bo Barrett.
Barrett spent his early years selling news papers in Los Angeles before entering the U.S. Navy during World War II. He graduated with his BA from UCLA in 1946 and his law degree from Loyola Law School in 1950.
Barrett died March 14, 2013 in San Francisco at age 86. The cause was not given. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Judy; his children from a previous marriage, Stephanie, Bo, Michael, Kevin and Gabriela; and five grandchildren.
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