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Boissets buy Mondavi house

Gina Gallo and Jean-Charles Boisset have bought the former Mondavi house in Napa, according to reports.

The couple, who married in 2009 and celebrated the birth of twins in June this year, confirmed they have bought the 55 acre (22ha) Yountville property at auction.

According to Jim Laube of American magazine Wine Spectator, the couple wanted to keep their purchase private, but the news was leaked by the person who cleans the pool.

The house, in the Stags Leap district, was built for the late Robert Mondavi and his wife Margrit by Cliff May in 1979. It was put on the market last year with an asking price of US$25m, but failed to sell.

It was put up for auction in November this year with a reserve price of just over half that sum – US$13.9m – and the Boissets had the winning bid.

The estate enjoys stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains, meadows and vineyards of Napa Valley, but experts suggested that one of the reasons it has failed to find a buyer is its idiosyncratic character.

It is ‘an eccentric property’ designed expressly for the Mondavis, realtors Sheldon Good and Company said. It has only two bedrooms and an indoor pool, when most buyers nowadays prefer outdoor swimming.

Mondavi’s granddaughter Carissa Mondavi told Decanter.com in October that the Mondavis had planned the sale in advance.

‘My grandfather was always very forward thinking, so this was established well before his passing and is in keeping with decisions he and Margrit made together,’ she said.

Gina Gallo and Jean-Charles Boisset sit at the heads of two of the world’s largest wine companies.

Gallo is grand-daughter of Julio Gallo and head winemaker of one of the biggest producers in the world, and Boisset is president of Boisset Family Estates, which owns Napa’s Raymond Vineyard and Cellar amongst other properties.

The parent company, the huge and long-established Burgundy negociant, owns Burgundy producer Antonin Rodet, and has interests in Chile, Uruguay and Canada.

Written by Adam Lechmere

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