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Croatian Among ‘101 Objects that Made America’

101-ObjectsTwo people born in Croatia have made Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s ‘101 Objects that Made America’ list…

Among the priceless historical objects named on the list, which were selected from more than 137 million artifacts from 19 museums, were such things as Abraham Lincoln’s hat, Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone and Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit. But, there was room on the list for two Croatian inspired ‘objects’.  Two bottles of the wine that gave Croatian American winemaker Mike Grgich a Judgment of Paris award have also been included on the prestigious list. Grgich’s 1973 vintage Chardonnay was selected for competition in the historic Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, where it was ranked the number one white wine in the world.

“When I was growing up in the little village of Desne in Croatia, I never would have dared to dream that my wine would be in the same book as America’s “Declaration of Independence,” or in the same museum as Nikola Tesla, the famous inventor who is also from Croatia. When I arrived in the United States, I thought I was the luckiest man alive to have my dream come true of making wine in California, but this recognition far exceeds my American Dream.” said Grgich after finding out about his inclusion.

Mike Grgich

Mike Grgich

Grgich has forged an impressive career in the winemaking industry in America, winning several prestigious awards and even being inducted into the Culinary Institute of America’s Vinter’s Hall of Fame. Grgich is also the man behind Croatia being credited for the origins of the famous Californian zinfandel grape. Grgich noticed the similarities between the zinfandel red grape and of a grape back in his homeland Croatia when he first arrived in California. He told everyone he knew about his suspicions, and finally academics listened. Through DNA testing it was proved that the parent of zinfandel is an ancient grape of Croatia called crljenak kastelanski.

Croatian born inventor Tesla, who apart from inventing the modern AC electrical supply system, was also known for his high-voltage, high frequency power experiments in New York and Colorado Springs which included patented devices and theoretical work used in the invention of radio communication, for his X-ray experiments, and for his attempts at intercontinental wireless transmission, also featured in the list of 101 Objects that Made America.

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