Robert Mondavi Winery

Robert Mondavi Winery Facts


  • Grape Varieties:
    Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Muscat, Petite Verdot, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Syrah
  • Founded :
    1966
  • Important People:
    Robert Mondavi, Genevieve Janssens
  • Location:
    Oakville, CA, USA
  • Appellation:
    Oakville AVA

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Robert Mondavi Winery
There may have been no bigger superstar in New World wine culture than the late Robert Mondavi, who, among other accomplishments, brought worldwide recognition to the wines of Napa Valley, established the American Institute for Wine and Food, and launched the Napa Valley Wine Auction.

Born to Italian parents in Virginia, Minnesota, Mondavi founded his iconic eponymous winery in Oakville, California in 1966. Many of his production techniques and marketing strategies are now standard for New World wines. A cornerstone of the winery's success has been the famous and ever fertile To-Kalon Vineyard. These 550 acres of bale clay loam, alluvial soil on the edge of the Maycamas Mountains are planted mostly to Cabernet Sauvignon, with some Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petite Verdot, Syrah, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.

A hint of morning fog combined with full day sun and excellent drainage are the environmental conditions which produce Robert Mondavi's consistently outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and Oakville District Cabernet Sauvignon. These wines are complex and layered, a firm tannic backbone supporting rich notes of cassis, wild berries, licorice and spice. 60 year old Sauvignon Blanc vines produce the I Block Fumé Blanc, an offspring of the first Fumé Blanc created by Mondavi in 1966. A second Vineyard, Wapo Hill, is located in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley. 400 acres are planted to Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Muscat.

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Genevieve Janssens is current Director of Winemaking at Robert Mondavi Winery. A native of France, Janssens studied under legendary enologists Jean Ribereau, Pascal Ribereau-Gayon and Emile Peynaud at the University of Bordeaux. In 1978 she came to Robert Mondavi Winery as a lab enologist. In '89 she became Director of Production at Opus One winery, a joint venture between Robert Mondavi and the Baron Philippe de Rothschild, and in 1997 returned to the Robert Mondavi Winery as Director of Winemaking. Following the sale of the winery to Constellation Brands in 2004, the winemaking team continues to focus on "District" and "Reserve" wines, while also producing limited quantities of vineyard-designated bottlings.

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Robert Mondavi Winery Image: © Alaskan Dude. Image licensed under Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0.