Robert Mondavi

Robert Mondavi was one of the leading wine-makers in Napa Valley, who helped turn California wines into some of the best wines in the world, famously beating leading French labels in blind tastings. 

Robert MondaviRobert Mondavi

He invented fumé blanc, and was a pioneer in promoting wines by putting the name of the grape on the label. In this way he helped to educate the wine-drinking public into knowing, for instance, what chardonnay tasted like, and what a wide range of tastes that one grape was capable of producing.

Mondavi was also involved in the famous blind wine tasting in Paris in 1976, when a distinguished panel of wine experts, most of them French, picked out wines from California's Napa Valley, including Mondavi's, as being superior to some of the best French wines ever made, including Château Mouton-Rothschild.

Three years later, Mondavi was in partnership with Baron Philippe de Rothschild to found the Opus One Winery in Napa Valley, about 25 miles inland from Santa Rosa.

Robert MondaviRobert Mondavi

Mondavi was born on June 18, 1913, in Minnesota, where his Italian immigrant parents were living. The family then moved to Lodi, where his father built up a successful fruit-packing business – primarily packing grapes. The move into wine-making came when the family bought the Charles Krug Winery, and turned it into Mondavi. It was the first major winery opened in Napa Valley since Prohibition.

Mondavi then opened his own Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville in 1966, and within ten years he was showing those French wine experts just how to make wine! In 1968 he had produced a wine from the sauvignon blanc grape, which was not very popular in California then, but he renamed it fumé blanc and it became a phenomenal success.

Our Pick of Napa/Sonoma Guides

Fodor-Napa-Sonoma-2023.png

Mondavi went on to receive numerous awards and accolades, including induction into the California Hall of Fame and the Vintners' Hall of Fame. He died on May 16, 2008, at the grand old age of 94. 

The Robert Mondavi WineryThe Robert Mondavi Winery

Other wine pages

  • The San Luis Obispo Coast wine region is the most recent wine region in the USA to be declared an American Viticultural Area (AVA).

    San Luis Obispo Coast Wine

    The San Luis Obispo Coast wine region is the most recent wine region in the USA to be declared an American Viticultural Area (AVA).

  • Paso Robles Wine Tours include the excellent JUSTIN Vineyard, a tour of one of the first wineries in Paso Robles with visits to the cellars and a wine tasting.

    Paso Robles Wine Tours

    Paso Robles Wine Tours include the excellent JUSTIN Vineyard, a tour of one of the first wineries in Paso Robles with visits to the cellars and a wine tasting.

  • Ideas on where to stay when touring California's Napa Valley vineyards and wineries, including hotels, historic inns, a ranch, a resort and railway carriages!

    Napa Valley Bed and Breakfast Inns

    Ideas on where to stay when touring California's Napa Valley vineyards and wineries, including hotels, historic inns, a ranch, a resort and railway carriages!

  • Olympic Peninsula wineries are not in the heart of Washington wine country but the vineyards near the Pacific Coast Highway are worth a visit.

    Olympic Peninsula Wineries

    Olympic Peninsula wineries are not in the heart of Washington wine country but the vineyards near the Pacific Coast Highway are worth a visit.

  • The Pacific Coast Wine Trail includes wineries and vineyards along the Pacific Coast Highway in California's Central Coast including tasting rooms.

    Pacific Coast Wine Trail

    The Pacific Coast Wine Trail includes wineries and vineyards along the Pacific Coast Highway in California's Central Coast including tasting rooms.

  • If looking for Paso Robles accommodation you could stay on a vineyard at the luxury JUST Inn Bed and Breakfast, in the grounds of the JUSTIN winery.

    Paso Robles Accommodation

    If looking for Paso Robles accommodation you could stay on a vineyard at the luxury JUST Inn Bed and Breakfast, in the grounds of the JUSTIN winery.

  • Northwest Wine Country is a food and wine lover's guide to vineyards, fine dining, accommodation, restaurants in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia.

    Northwest Wine Country

    Northwest Wine Country is a food and wine lover's guide to vineyards, fine dining, accommodation, restaurants in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia.

  • Washington Wine Country includes plenty of vineyards and wineries that can be visited while traveling the Pacific Coast Highway including the Olympic Peninsula.

    Washington Wine Country

    Washington Wine Country includes plenty of vineyards and wineries that can be visited while traveling the Pacific Coast Highway including the Olympic Peninsula.

  • The Napa Bed and Breakfast, 1801 First, is an award-winning romantic b&b near the center of Napa, with good food, and spa treatments available.

    Napa Bed and Breakfast

    The Napa Bed and Breakfast, 1801 First, is an award-winning romantic b&b near the center of Napa, with good food, and spa treatments available.

  • Santa Barbara Wine Country is one of the top wine destinations says Wine Enthusiast, alongside Napa Valley, rating California vineyards alongside Champagne.

    Santa Barbara Wine Country

    Santa Barbara Wine Country is one of the top wine destinations says Wine Enthusiast, alongside Napa Valley, rating California vineyards alongside Champagne.

  • The wineries and vineyards along the Pacific Coast Highway make some of the best wine in the world, from Oregon and Washington to California's Sonoma and Napa.

    Wineries and Vineyards on the Pacific Coast Highway

    The wineries and vineyards along the Pacific Coast Highway make some of the best wine in the world, from Oregon and Washington to California's Sonoma and Napa.

  • There are plenty of Santa Cruz downtown wine tastings including Beauregard Vineyards,Storrs Winery and Pelican Ranch Winery,all with tasting rooms.

    Santa Cruz Downtown Wine Tastings

    There are plenty of Santa Cruz downtown wine tastings including Beauregard Vineyards,Storrs Winery and Pelican Ranch Winery,all with tasting rooms.

  • These Napa Valley Facts and Figures give statistics on California wine, Napa wineries, Napa grapes and vines in California wine country.

    Napa Valley Facts and Figures

    These Napa Valley Facts and Figures give statistics on California wine, Napa wineries, Napa grapes and vines in California wine country.

  • The Napa Wine Country Inn and Gardens in St Helena overlooks a vineyard and has free wine tastings every evening and offers guests help with booking wine tours.

    Napa Wine Country Inn

    The Napa Wine Country Inn and Gardens in St Helena overlooks a vineyard and has free wine tastings every evening and offers guests help with booking wine tours.



Recent Articles

  1. 8 California Beaches That Feel Like The Caribbean

    Jun 15, 24 03:53 AM

    California's beaches offer white sands, turquoise waters, and palm trees, evoking the serene beauty of the Caribbean with their picturesque scenery.

    Read More

  2. Slingshots, Color, and Open Roads: How to Explore California’s Spring Wildflowers

    May 01, 24 11:10 AM

    Beaches. Mountains. Deserts. Cities. California has a lot, and it’s known for a lot, but in the mix of some of the most incredible scenery in the United States, one excellent feature is often overlook…

    Read More

  3. Best Things to Do in Monterey

    Apr 30, 24 07:57 PM

    fishermans-wharf-monterey.webp
    The best things to do in Monterey, chosen by Pacific Coast Highway Travel, include the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, whale watching and Fisherman's Wharf.

    Read More