Michael Mondavi Family Estate, run by several descendants of Robert Mondavi, has agreed to sell its Carneros winery in favour of finding a smaller-scale winemaking cellar elsewhere in Napa Valley.
The group, comprising Michael, Isabel, Dina and Robert Mondavi Jr, has agreed to sell the facility, which it owns via its Winery of Napa Valley company, to Vietnam-born American businessman Kieu Hoang for an undisclosed fee.
Also included in the deal is the family’s 5.3-hectare Carneros vineyard and adjacent tasting room (pictured).
Robert Mondavi Jr said the family intends to re-invest at least some of the proceeds in Napa Valley winemaking. ‘We are actively looking to establish a boutique winemaking facility and tasting room in Napa Valley,’ he said.
Of the Carneros winery, he said, ‘the facility supported our start-up plans allowing maximum flexibility. However, the current case-capacity far exceeds our vision to produce the small-lot, prestige wines we desire to produce under the Isabel Mondavi, Emblem, Animo and ’M‘ by Michael Mondavi labels.’
The Carneros winery’s production capacity is triple the collective volumes of those brands, said Rebecca Hopkins, a spokesperson for Folio Fine Wine Partners, which is a fine wine importer owned by Michael Mondavi family.
‘The family simply want to focus on their own vineyards, wines and brands,’ she told Decanter.com, when asked about the financial motive for the sale.
All affected staff at the Carneros property have been offered opportunities with the new owner, the family said.
For the 2014 harvest, wines under Michael Mondavi Family Estate will continue to be produced by Robert Mondavi Jr and Tony Coltrin in a leased facility located in Napa.
Kieu Hoang is chairman and CEO of Rare Antibody Antigen Supply Inc, an Agoura Hills-based blood plasma and derivatives business, and also vice chairman of Vice Chairman of Shanghai RAAS Blood Products Co Ltd, based in Shnaghai, China.
Written by Chris Mercer