Wine History: May 2008 Archives

rmondavi2.jpgby Courtney Cochran

The recent passing of the man who was widely known as the patriarch of California wine caused us to reflect on just what it means to have been Robert Mondavi.  Frequently described as larger than life, the Minnesota-born son of Italian immigrants was a marketing mastermind who can be credited not only with putting California on the global wine map, he also with leaving an indelible mark on the American wine scene. Read on for highlights of Mondavi's most significant contributions to wine as we know it.    

Toast to Mr. Mondavi

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Robert_Mondavi_1984.jpgBy Robert Farmer
If you enjoy or even appreciate a little, California wines, then Robert Mondovi has impacted your life. It may not be in an obvious way, but the legendary vintner and wine-making pioneer has left his mark so indelibly upon the California wine industry that even a casual fan of wines from the Golden State has been influenced in some way by the man.

So as an industry offers an ongoing toast in honor of the late Mondavi, who passed away recently at the age of 94, I encourage everybody to raise a glass and salute him in their own unique way and honor one of life's true visionaries.
robertmondavi.jpegBy Robert Farmer

Without the life of Robert Mondavi, one could strongly argue, the California Wine Industry would not exist in its current form. And so it is more than appropriate in light of his recent passing, that the praise being showered on the man in his wake be commensurate with his lasting impact. Perhaps no single person had such a pronounced impact on California Wine Country. With remarkable vision and diligence Mondavi steered the current irresistible force that is California Wine.

It was Mondavi who led California wine producers out of their mass-production jug-wine mentality and into the light of quality, limited-yield wines that would ultimately be judged on par with the great vintages of Europe.