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Mondavi: Many California wineries will be sold under duress

Former Mondavi CEO Michael Mondavi has admitted that a large number of non-profitable California wineries will change hands ‘under duress’ this year.

Speaking at the Fine Wine 2010 conference in Ribera del Duero, Spain, Mondavi told decanter.com that he had seen several prestigious Napa wineries ‘drop the price of their entire reserve range from $170 to $100’.

‘One winery, who I can’t name, is selling its reserve wines at half price, offering two cases for the price of one,’ he said.

‘Dramatic discounting damages brand integrity. Will those wineries ever get back to selling at their original prices? I don’t think so.’

Mondavi, who imports fine wine into the US through his company Folio Fine Wine Partners, doesn’t believe foreign imports pose a threat to the domestic market.

‘It’s not a risk. Fine wine imports are competition for California, but the only thing that will hurt California is bad winemaking in the region.’

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Written by Lucy Shaw in Ribera del Duero

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