Go see the movie "Bottleshock" for an enhanced view of this. In 1976, a few upstart Napa Valley wines bested the French in a blind tasting competition. The Chateau Montelena was one of the wines that beat the French (I think it was a chardonnay). After the competition, their winemaker ran off and started his own winery (with investment from the Hills family--the coffee folks).
Recently the French have exacted their revenge by buying this winery. The amount they paid wasn't released...but it reportedly was millions and millions of dollars.
This is a view of the hillside where they put their panels...lots and lots of them.