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Robert Mondavi - A Winemaking Pioneer

Evening light over Robet Mondavi Carneros vineyards, Nappa Valley.

"Whatever you do, pour yourself into it"

Robert Mondavi

In 1961, Mondavi established his first major vineyard in Napa Valley and quickly gained status as a pioneer in the Californian wine industry. He first revived the reputation of Sauvignon Blanc by making it dry (at the time it was usually quite sweet in California) and aged it in oak to add texture, creating what is now known as Fumé Blanc. Mondavi then went on to help make Cabernet Sauvignon the signature grape of California, forging a relationship with Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Château Mouton-Rothschild, out of which came the cult wine ‘Opus One’.

In 1979 Mondavi built the Woodbridge winery near his childhood home of Lodi, California. His aim now was to make delicious, yet affordable wines offering real flavours and true enjoyment - much like one of his legend quotes, “Wine to me is passion. It’s family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit.”