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.
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.