Some of California's best known winemaking stars turned out for the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Robert Mondavi winery. William Kelley had a front-row seat...
As guests savoured their glasses of the still-youthful 1966 Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon, the winery’s inaugural vintage, the legendary Warren Winiarski, Mondavi’s winemaker in those early days, remembered crushing the grapes, surrounded by carpenters, plumbers and builders—all hurrying to complete construction in time for the winery’s grand opening later that year.
Winiarski, who went on to establish Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (where he crafted the Cabernet Sauvignon which triumphed in the 1976 Judgement of Paris), was only one of several celebrated Mondavi ‘alumni’ who enriched the evening with their presence and reminiscences.
Another was Paul Hobbs, one of California’s most successful globe-trotting winemakers and consultants, who began his career at the Mondavi Winery in 1978. Hobbs recalled Robert Mondavi’s relentless pursuit of improvement with admiration, observing that ‘experimentation was in his D.N.A.’
Many others paid tribute to Mondavi’s generosity with advice and resources, probity as a businessman, charisma as a leader, and above all vision as a pioneer.
Read the final part of Gerald Asher's insight into the Mondavi legacy, looking back over four generations of winemaking and
Read part three of our special four part insight into the Mondavi legacy, looking back over four generations worth of
Read part two of our special four part insight into the Mondavi legacy, looking back over four generations worth of
Read part one of our special four part insight into the Mondavi legacy, looking back over four generations worth of