Robert Mondavi of Oakville, California, and Rosemount Estates Pty. Ltd. of Hunter Valley, Australia, today announced that they have signed a letter of intent to form a 50/50 joint venture company which will produce and market worldwide two new wine lines - one from Australia and the other from California. The first wines, in the luxury and superpremium segments, will be produced from the vintage 2000 in California and vintage 2001 in Australia. Sold under proprietary brand names that will convey the participation of both Robert Mondavi and Rosemount, all wines will be made under the joint direction of winemakers Tim Mondavi of Robert Mondavi and Philip Shaw of Rosemount.

"For Rosemount this venture with the Robert Mondavi family is a logical and natural alliance and offers us a unique opportunity to expand globally while still preserving our autonomy," said Bob Oatley, founder of Rosemount. "The ability to work together on winemaking and viticulture in both countries creates enormous potential."

Michael Mondavi, President and CEO of Robert Mondavi, commented, "This venture allows us to expand our luxury wine portfolio with a world class Shiraz while also participating in the exciting growth of the Australian superpremium wine segment. We are very pleased to be entering into this venture with Rosemount, Australia's premier family wine company, which pioneered Australian Shiraz in the United States."

Robert Mondavi will sell the joint venture's Australian wines worldwide, while Rosemount will sell the joint venture's California wines worldwide. Neither partner foresees any changes in current distribution arrangements for its existing brands as a consequence of the joint venture. The two companies will also explore other synergies in winemaking, viticulture, purchasing, marketing and research and development.

Rosemount was established in 1969 by Robert Oatley and his family. Today, Rosemount is Australia's largest family owned winery and its wines are sold throughout the world. With its extensive range of Shiraz wines from the "Prestige Wine Collection "and "Diamond" series, it is the market leader in this varietal in the United States. Rosemount owns vineyards in Hunter Valley, Mudgee and Orange in New South Wales and McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, Langhorne Creek and Adelaide Hills in South Australia. It owns and operates wineries in the Hunter Valley and McLaren Vale.

The Robert Mondavi family produces and markets fine wines under the following labels: Robert Mondavi Winery, Robert Mondavi Coastal, La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi and Colmera, Woodbridge Winery, Byron Vineyard & Winery, Io, Arrowood Vineyards & Winery and Vichon Mediterranean. The company and the Baroness Philippine de Rothschild of Chateau Mouton Rothschild of Bordeaux, France, are partners in Opus One. The company also produces Luce, Lucente and Danzante in partnership with the Marchesi de' Frescobaldi of Tuscany, Italy; and Sena and Caliterra in partnership with the Eduardo Chadwick family of Vina Errazuriz in Chile. The company has a minority interest in Tenuta dell' Ornellaia, a famous estate in the Bolgheri appellation of Tuscany, producer of Ornellaia and Masseto, founded by Marchese Lodovico Antinori.

R. Michael Mondavi will host a conference call to discuss the company's first quarter Fiscal 2001 results on Thursday, October 19, 2000 at 7:30 a.m. PT. A live listen-only webcast of the conference call will be available at under "Investor Relations."