May 162008

Although this is primarily a beer site, I love wine as well (and have just recently vinted my first – a 2008 Italian Sangiovese to be bottled near summer’s end). Therefore, it is with sadness I learned of the passing of a wine icon – Robert Mondavi, who died today at his home in California.

Whether you view Mondavi Winery’s offerings and wine in general with love, hate, or indifference, there’s no denying Robert Mondavi’s impact on the US wine culture. He tirelessly marketed California wines as among the finest in the world, and traveled the world spreading that message. He led by example, encouraging vintners across the world, and especially in California, to raise their standards and focus on making the best wines possible. His career spanned eight decades, during which he established his namesake California winery in 1966 – it was the first new Napa winery since the late 1930s,  and remained one of the most prominent until it was sold in 2004.

Robert Mondavi cultivated a love of wine, travel, fine cuisine, and culture, which he shared with the world. I will be tipping back a bottle in his memory tonight.

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