Joanne DePuyand the Judgment of Paris, 1976
“The woman behind the Judgment of Paris”
Napa Valley Register May 12, 2016
In 1976, the Napa Valley was thrust onto the world stage. Chateau Montelena and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars had won The Judgment of Paris tasting organized by British wine journalist and author Steven Spurrier beating out some of the world’s most highly prized French wines.
From that single event, careers, fortunes and legacies were created. Movies have been made and books have been written, but few speak of the woman who arguably had one of the biggest roles to play in the event — Joanne DePuy.
“I introduced both of the winning wines to Steven Spurrier, and I even transported the wines over to Paris for the tasting for him,” she said in an interview.
Spurrier agrees, as he explained in an email:
“Thanks to Joanne DePuy’s introductions to Chateau Montelena and to Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, these two wines were included in the Paris tasting. But even more thanks go to Joanne, for had she not persuaded her group to hand-carry the bottles to Paris, I would not have been able to get them through French customs and the Paris tasting would not have taken place.”
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