National Federation of Croatian Americans
On July 6, 2013, the National Federation of Croatian Americans President Paul Tonsetic-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 winemaker at the Judgement of Paris tasting and the Smithsonian exhibit but also his success as a businessman and his strong and continued support of numerous Croatian causes and culture. In doing so, he has brought great fame to California winemaking and considerable pride to the Croatian diaspora in the United States.
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 annual Grgich Hills Wine Club soiree on the lawn of the Grgich home. More than three hundred attendees feasted on freshly roasted lamb, pork and turkey and Grgich Estate wines. The Croatian Fraternal Union provided traditional dancing and sang the National Anthem of the Republic of Croatia.
Mr. Tonsetic-Kunder remarked that:
"A former Prime Minister of Croatia recalled his mother saying that she had over the years five different passports (from 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 through his wines."
The day concluded with the singing of Happy Birthday to Mr. Grgich to celebrate his 90th birthday.
---July 10, 2013