US: Robert Mondavi dies at 94

By | 19 May 2008

Robert Mondavi, the man who changed the landscape of the US wine industry, passed away on Friday (16 May).

The Mondavi family stated that the vintner, who was 94, died peacefully at his home in Napa Valley.

Mondavi, who was born in Minnesota, founded his eponymous winery in 1966, inspired by a belief he could produce world-class wines in Napa Valley.

He has since become known as one of the world's leading innovators, producers and marketers of fine wine, firmly establishing America's place on the world wine stage.

Richard Sands, chairman of Constellation Brands said: "Robert Mondavi was unique in a very special way. He had a vision about the potential for developing great California wines. Robert was a pioneer who acted on his vision and was both passionate and relentless in his pursuit of ever-better wines, especially from the Napa Valley. He was an inspiration and he will be greatly missed."

In l979, Robert joined forces with Baron Philippe de Rothschild, creating the Opus One Winery in Oakville. He then further expanded his horizons through international partnerships with the Frescobaldi family in Italy and Eduardo Chadwick of Vina Errazuriz in Chile before introducing Robert Mondavi Private Selection, a line of high quality, affordable fine wines in 1994.

Sectors: Wine

Companies: Constellation

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The just-drinks interview - Robert Mondavi's widow

For our final interview of 2008, we're putting aside sales forecasts and market performances for a moment in favour of a personal reflection on one of the drinks world’s most influential figures, Robert Mondavi, who passed away this year. Olly Wehring met with Mondavi’s widow, Margrit Biever Mondavi, to discuss his life and his legacy.

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