The courage needed for great challenges and the difficulties in dealing with success in the family. The rising and decline of a winery that has left a mark in the 20th century.
Read for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini
Most of the information below comes from a beautiful article on WineSearcker which I am inviting you to read with attention because it will deeply move you and make you reflect.
This is a portrait of one of the greatest wine makers of all times, a persona who has changed the wine making destiny of a whole nation: Robert Mondavi.
I have never actually met him but I have met his son Michael, he was introduced to me by Ferdinando Frescobaldi. I remember him as a very politeperson who surprised me because he was short.
Maybe even Robert Mondavi, was not so tall, but as a producer he was a giant.
An example for us all especially for those who say: I haven enough money for…..I haven the age for …..
There was once a family form the March who emigrated to Minnesota where in 1908 a little boy was born, called Robert Gerald. The father Cesare then went to live in California where he buys the Charles Krug Winery where his sons Robert, and Peter the smallest, work.
In 1966 the two brothers have a discussion which degenerates into a real fight and Robert goes slamming the door. Robert Mondavi at the point is 53 years of age, and has no money and no job. From this crisis his fortune begins. “The up side of down” as affirmed byMegan Mc Ardle, editorialist at Bloomberg View, where she sustains that development and innovation come from defeats.
This is where the 10 points about Robert Mondavi begin, which, according to WineSearcher, all wine producers should hear about
1) AMBITION before he started Californian wine was mostly large volumes. It was sufficient for him to declare that he wanted to make great wines that all the other began to follow his example.
2) TALENT INCUBATOR his first wine makers Warren Winiarski, Mike Grgich, Zelma Long all became famous.
3)CHOOSE THE BEST Robert Mondavi’s vineyards are in a wonderful spot both from a wine making and touristic point of view
4) TRY DIFFERENT THINGS in his vineyards there are different grape varieties, different densities, different rootstocks…and some vineyards have been replanted several times trying to find the right solution
5) OPUS ONE at only 500 metres from the main estate, in 1979, Robert Mondavi created with the Baron Philippe de Rothschild another winery for making very high quality wines. Still today the precious bottles of Opus One bear a label with profiles of the two creators.
6) KING LEAR’S SINDROME although Robert wanted to create a wine dynasty, the contrast with his brother which characterized his youth, was then repeated among his children Michael and Tim e and was the origin of trouble. In 2004 the Mondavi Winery was sold to the Costellation Brands
7) ROBERT MONDAVI’S GHOST half of the present day employees of the state, managers included, knew Robert Mondavi personally and still work as if he were there. Robert passed away in 2008.
8 ) IT’S NOT LIKE COCA COLA Under the same Mondavi brand there are wines that go from 7 to 100$. After the sale the brand kept going strong, but not so much can be said of the quality.
9)CAB IS KING While Robert Mondavi experimented with various grape varieties today the productions concentrates on Cabernet with the evident support of Robert Parker Jr
10) GREAT WHITES at present the most interesting wines of the winery are the whites. The Fumé Blanc, for example, to which Robert Mondavi gave this name because he believed that the American would never have learnt to say Sauvignon Blanc.