In Memory of Robert Mondavi

I wanted to take the time to write a post dedicated to a great man, Robert Gerald Mondavi.  He was not just a great Italian American wine icon, but he was a family man, philanthropist, and the greatest contributor to American wine advancement.  He lived a long storied life which lasted almost 95 years and ended this past May 16. 

Mondavi dedicated his life to wine, especially American.  From his early days with his brother Patrick and father Cesare at their Charles Krug Winery, he tried to evolve American wine techniques.  When he finally broke from the family and created his namesake winery, he was able to create high quality wines with knowledge gained from world leaders in France and Italy.  Through his connections he created the first Franco-American wine, Opus One, with Baron Philippe de Rothschild and eventually partnered with Frescobaldi in purchasing Ornellia in Tuscany.  This created foreign money, interest, and investment in American wine and the further globalization of the business was starting to be realized- with Robert Mondavi at the forefront.

Many reasons led to the Mondavi family selling off their public holdings in the company, but this did not stop Robert from being an ambassador for the winery and the industry.  His stance on good living with the combination of diet, wine, and culture held a standard for new generations to live by.  His efforts and money donated to create California wine and culinary institutions will always be beneficial and appreciated.

The family did manage to get back into the wine business.  Robert and son Tim along with other family members started the label Continuum, a Cabernet Sauvignon blend first bottled in 2005.  It received high scores (WA 95, WS 93) and is a small batch production- only 1300 cases made.

I highly suggest reading his biography, Harvests of JoyIt is a joy to read about the life, troubles, and journeys of Mr. Mondavi.