This biographical article is written like a résumé . (November 2015)
Robert Mondavi and his wife Margrit
|Born||June 18, 1913|
|Died||May 16, 2008 (aged 94)|
|Spouse(s)||Marjorie Declusin (1937–79) |
Margrit Biever (1980-2008)
|Awards||Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (2002), |
French Legion of Honour (2005)
California Hall of Fame (2005)
Robert Gerald Mondavi (June 18, 1913 – May 16, 2008) was a leading American vineyard operator whose technical improvements and marketing strategies brought worldwide recognition for the wines of the Napa Valley in California. From an early period, Mondavi aggressively promoted labeling wines varietally rather than generically. This is now the standard for New World wines. The Robert Mondavi Institute (RMI) for Wine and Food Science at the University of California, Davis opened in October 2008 in his honor.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 18 megadiverse countries.
A vineyard is a plantation of grape-bearing vines, grown mainly for winemaking, but also raisins, table grapes and non-alcoholic grape juice. The science, practice and study of vineyard production is known as viticulture.
California wine is wine made in the U.S. state of California. Almost three quarters the size of France, California accounts for nearly 90 percent of American wine production. The production of wine in California is one third larger than that of Australia. If California were a separate country, it would be the world's fourth largest wine producer.
Robert Mondavi's parents Cesare Mondavi and Rosa Grassi emigrated from Sassoferratoin the Marche region of Italy and settled in the American city of Hibbing, Minnesota. Robert Gerald Mondavi was born in Virginia, Minnesota. From Minnesota the Mondavi family moved to Lodi, California, where he attended Lodi High School. In Lodi, his father, Cesare, established a successful fruit packing business under the name C. Mondavi and Sons, packing and shipping grapes to the east coast primarily for home winemaking. Mondavi graduated from Stanford University in 1937 with a degree in economics and business administration. While at Stanford he was a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity.
Sassoferrato is a town and comune of the province of Ancona in the Marche region of central-eastern Italy.
Marche, or the Marches, is one of the twenty regions of Italy. The name of the region derives from the plural name of marca, originally referring to the medieval March of Ancona and nearby marches of Camerino and Fermo. Marche is well known for its shoemaking tradition, with the finest and most luxurious Italian footwear being manufactured in this region.
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.
In 1943, Mondavi joined his father and brother Peter after the family acquired the Charles Krug Winery located in St. Helena, California from James Moffitt. In 1965, Robert Mondavi left the family winery after a feud with his younger brother Peter over the business direction of the Krug Winery. Subsequently, Mondavi started his own winery in Oakville, California, and set out to create wines that could compete with fine French winesToday, the Robert Mondavi Winery is located between Oakville and Rutherford (though its corporate headquarters are in nearby St. Helena).
Peter Mondavi, Sr. was an American winemaker.
Charles Krug (1825–1892) was among the pioneers of winemaking in the Napa Valley, California, and was the founder of the Charles Krug Winery.
St. Helena is a city in Napa County, in California's Wine Country, part of the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population was 5,814 at the 2010 census.
In 1966, he founded the Robert Mondavi Winery with his sons Michael and Tim Mondavi in the Napa Valley with the goal of producing wines that would compete with the finest wines from Europe. Michael Mondavi, the eldest, was in charge of the sales and marketing for Robert, while Tim was the winemaker. Robert Mondavi was the first major winery built in Napa Valley in the post-Prohibition era. Part of Mondavi's original vineyard land included the To Kalon (a Greek term meaning "the beautiful") vineyard originally established by Napa Valley pioneer H.W. Crabb in 1868. The winery bearing Mondavi's name produced high quality wine in the California mission style.
In 1937, Mondavi married his high school sweetheart, Marjorie Ellen (Declusin) Mondavi. Together, the couple had three children, Michael, Marcia, and Tim. In the late 1970s their marriage ended in a divorce. In 1980, at the age of 67, he married Margrit (Kellenberger) Biever Mondavi, a Swiss-born, and multilingual woman who worked at the Robert Mondavi winery.Robert and Margrit had no children, but together they dedicated a lot of time and money to philanthropic events.
Margrit Biever Mondavi (August 2, 1925 – September 2, 2016) was a Swiss-born American businesswoman. She was Vice President of Cultural Affairs at Robert Mondavi Winery which she joined in 1967. Under her direction, Robert Mondavi Winery developed original cultural and culinary arts programs. In 1980, she married Robert Mondavi and worked with him in many of his philanthropic activities including the founding of the museum Copia. Margrit played a key role in securing the downtown Napa location for the center, which opened in November 2001. She died of stomach cancer on September 2, 2016.
In 1968, Mondavi made a dry oak–aged Sauvignon blanc, an unpopular variety in California at the time, and labeled it "Fumé Blanc". The wine was a success and, in time, Fumé Blanc became accepted as a synonym for Sauvignon blanc.
Sauvignon blanc is a green-skinned grape variety that originates from the Bordeaux region of France. The grape most likely gets its name from the French words sauvage ("wild") and blanc ("white") due to its early origins as an indigenous grape in South West France. It is possibly a descendant of Savagnin. Sauvignon blanc is planted in many of the world's wine regions, producing a crisp, dry, and refreshing white varietal wine. The grape is also a component of the famous dessert wines from Sauternes and Barsac. Sauvignon blanc is widely cultivated in France, Chile, Romania, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the states of Washington and California in the US. Some New World Sauvignon blancs, particularly from California, may also be called "Fumé Blanc", a marketing term coined by Robert Mondavi in reference to Pouilly-Fumé.
Mondavi successfully developed a number of premium wines that earned the respect of connoisseurs and vintners alike. In 1979, he built the Mondavi Woodbridge Winery in Lodi, California developing it into a leader of popular-premium wines. He also entered into a joint venture with Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Château Mouton Rothschild to create Opus One Winery, and since the 1990s has set up joint ventures with local partners in Europe, South America and Australia.
Interested by his work and his success, in the 1990s Mondavi's story and his wine company became topics for specialists of wine.
In the Grand European Jury Wine Tasting of 1997, the Robert Mondavi Chardonnay Reserve was ranked number one.
In 2005, Robert Mondavi and his younger brother Peter made wine together for the first time after their feud. Using grapes from both family vineyards, they produced one barrel of cabernet blend, which was sold for $400,000 under the name "Ancora Una Volta" ("Once Again") at the 2005 Napa Valley Auction.All the money earned from the barrel of wine went to charity.
In 2003, Mondavi expressed regret and criticized his sons for the business strategy that emphasized the inexpensive Mondavi lines, Coastal and Woodbridge, over the premium wines, allowing the company name to lose its association with fine wine it held in the past. He said, "We've got to get our image back, and that's going to take time."
In the 2004 documentary film Mondovino , the Mondavi family featured prominently, in close application to its theme of globalization. At the time, the Mondavis had recently acquired the Italian "cult wine" Ornellaia winery, Tenuta Dell'Ornellaia.
On December 22, 2004, Constellation Brands acquired the Mondavi winery in a controversial takeover for nearly US$1.36 billion in cash and assumption of debt.Following the sale of the company, Mondavi partnered with his younger son Tim Mondavi and daughter Marcia Mondavi to make a single wine from a single estate at the highest level. The family partnership Continuum Estate is still run by Robert's son Tim, daughter Marcia and grandchildren Carissa Mondavi, Chiara Mondavi, Carlo Mondavi and Dante Mondavi.
In 2001, Robert Mondavi donated $10 million to help with the building cost of the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts building at UC Davis. The Mondavi Center was opened on October 3, 2002. Robert also donated $25 million to establish the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science and this opened a new era for UC Davis’s wine and food programs. It was the largest private contribution to UC Davis.
The two were founders and major benefactors behind the museum Copia, which opened November 2001 in the city of Napa, California.
Robert and Margrit were also founding supporters of the restoration of the 19th-century Napa Valley Opera House and the Oxbow School, a new art school in Napa that provides grants and instruction to art students in their junior year of high school. They have contributed to the restoration of the Lincoln Theatre in Yountville, California, and have supported the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
Robert Mondavi died at his Yountville home on May 16, 2008 at the age of 94.
An autobiography Harvests of Joy was published in 1998.
Robert Mondavi was selected as the Decanter "Man of the Year" in 1989.He was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1991.
In 2000 he was awarded Doctor of Oenology, Honoris Causa, by the Board of Trustees of Johnson & Wales University.
In 2002, he received the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.In 2005, he received the Legion of Honour from the French government.
On December 5, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver inducted Mondavi into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts.
He was inducted into the Culinary Institute of America Vintner's Hall of Fame in 2007.The election was based upon ballots from seventy wine journalists. The decision for their election of Mondavi is for contributions to the wine industry of California during his lifetime.
Robert Mondavi was awarded the Presidential Gold Medal of the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs in December 2006 for his many contributions to the Society.
Napa County is a county north of San Pablo Bay in the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 136,484. The county seat is the City of Napa. Napa County was one of the original counties of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood. Parts of the county's territory were given to Lake County in 1861.
Carole P. Meredith is an American grape geneticist and was a professor at the Department of Viticulture and Enology of University of California, Davis.
California wine has a long and continuing history, and in the late twentieth century became recognized as producing some of the world's finest wine. While wine is made in all fifty U.S. states, up to 90% of American wine is produced in the state. California would be the fourth largest producer of wine in the world if it were an independent nation.
André Tchelistcheff was America's most influential post-Prohibition winemaker. Tchelistcheff is most notable for his contributions toward defining the style of California's best wines, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. Called the "dean of American winemakers", industry pioneers, such as Rev. John Staten of Field Stone Winery, Robert Mondavi, Louis Martini and Rob Davis of Jordan Vineyard & Winery, and Rick Sayre of Rodney Strong Wine Estates, considered him their mentor.
Warren Winiarski is a Napa Valley winemaker and the founder and former proprietor of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars.
Mike Grgich is a Croatian American winemaker in California. He was born into a winemaking family in the town of Desne on Croatia's coastal region of Dalmatia. He is notable for being the winemaker behind the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that bested several white Burgundy wines in the wine tasting event that became known as the Judgement of Paris. In recognition of his contributions to the wine industry, Grgich was inducted into the Culinary Institute of America's Vintner's Hall of Fame on March 7, 2008. The tribute came at the same time that Grgich was celebrating his 50th vintage of winemaking in the Napa Valley.
The Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis, located in Davis, California, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the areas of grape growing and wine making. Located just 45 minutes from Napa Wine Country the department has strong connections with wine producers in California and elsewhere. The department has produced many of the notable winemakers of the California wine industry.
Napa Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Napa County in California's Wine Country. Napa Valley is considered one of the premier wine regions in the world. Records of commercial wine production in the region date back to the nineteenth century, but premium wine production dates back only to the 1960s.
The Oakville AVA is an American Viticultural Area located within Napa Valley AVA and centered on the town of Oakville, California. The appellation extends over a flat expanse of well drained gravel soil between the Vaca and Mayacamas Mountains. Oakville AVA is known for its success with Bordeaux varietals, which have produced wines of rich texture, firm tannins, and notes of mint and herbs.
Beringer Vineyards is a large winery in St. Helena, California. Founded in 1876, Beringer Vineyards is "the oldest continuously operating winery in the Napa Valley", and is listed under both the National Register of Historical Places and as a California Historical Landmark. In 1934 it was the first California winery to offer public tours and wine tasting following the repeal of Prohibition. In 1939, Beringer invited attendees of the Golden Gate International Exposition to visit the winery; the winery also invited Hollywood stars including Clark Gable, Charles Laughton, and Carole Lombard to visit.
Ornellaia is an Italian wine producer in the DOC Bolgheri in Toscana, known as a producer of Super Tuscan wine. Ornellaia is considered one of Italy's leading Bordeaux-style red wines. The estate also produces a second wine, Le Serre Nuove, the blend Le Volte, the Merlot varietal labeled wine Masseto, in addition to estate production of grappa and olive oil. In 2012, the winery's name was changed from "Tenuta dell'Ornellaia" to "Ornellaia e Masseto", in recognition of the increasing importance of the Merlot-based wine.
Festival Napa Valley is a music, food, wine and lifestyle festival held in Napa Valley, California. It is presented by Napa Valley Festival Association, a nonprofit corporation governed by a board of vintners and local leaders
Hagafen Cellars is a winery located in the Napa Valley. Founded in 1979, it was the first kosher winery in California, and is "the first of the upscale kosher brands." The winery is owned and operated by winemaker Ernie Weir and his wife, Irit Weir.
Zelma R. Long is an American enologist and vintner. She is considered to be one of the female pioneers in California wine, and was the first woman to assume senior management of a Californian winery, Simi Winery, of which she was president from 1989 to 1996. Long founded and was the first president of the American Vineyard Foundation to help finance research in enology and viticulture and also founded the American Viticulture and Enology Research Network (AVERN). She is the co-owner of Long Vineyards in St. Helena, California, and the Vilafonte Wine Estate in South Africa. Long has particularly been active in research into viticulture in Washington state.
Cakebread Cellars is a Napa Valley winery known for its Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc wines, which are internationally distributed. Founded in 1973 by Jack and Dolores Cakebread in Rutherford, California, the winery produces approximately 75,000 cases of wine per year.
The Charles Krug Winery is a winery founded by Charles Krug in 1861. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places on November 8, 1974.
Jean-Charles Boisset is a French vintner and the proprietor of the Boisset Collection. Under Boisset's leadership, the Boisset Collection operates 24 wineries in California, France, and Canada.