Having stepped down from his position as chairman of US wine group Robert Mondavi, Michael Mondavi said on Friday that he would be taking a six-month sabbatical from the day-to-day running of the business.

Mondavi said he had the agreement of the company. He said as part of the sabbatical, he intends to spend a month or two in Italy, with the Frescobaldi family with which his family has a joint wine venture.

The sabbatical leave will begin this week.