Robert Mondavi: Farewell to a True Pioneer

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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.

It was Mondavi who helped bring wine into the greater American consciousness the way it has been integral to life in Europe for centuries. From food and wine pairings to wine as part of a lifestyle associated with good living, Mondavi was instrumental in changing the ways Americans perceived and consumed wine.

Countless friends and associates have come forth to comment on the life of Mondavi since his passing. But few have said it more clearly or appropriately that the man himself did in his 1998 memoir, "Harvests of Joy: How the Good Life Became Great Business:

"Wine to me is passion...I know that wine is, above all else, a blessing, a gift of nature, a joy as pure and elemental as the soil and vines and sunshine from which it springs."

Indeed. Farewell to the True Pioneer.

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3 Comments

When they made him they broke the mold

I am from India and had visited USA in 2001 for a holiday.
Visited Napa Valley with friends and family members.
Saw many wine yards and went through wine tasting too.heard lot about Robert Mondavi, a man who they say brought wine on the International Dining Tables.
It is sad that he passed away but he has left behind a rich heritage and technique for genertion to come.
Amerians are lucky they had a man who laid the path for all generation to make wine.

Robert Mondavi is an Icon in the wine Industry, not only in Napa but worldwide.
It is my suggestion that there should be a " Mondavi week " every year to honor him, where people from the industry would gather, show up, sell, buy... whatever, thousand ideas...
He was indeed a great person... cheers.

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