Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.


Published:  23 July, 2008

In one of the biggest shake-ups in its history, Robert Mondavi is divesting its entire range of luxury brands - and vice-chairman Michael Mondavi has tendered his resignation. Following a board meeting in New York last week, the company has announced that it plans to focus on its premium and super-premium lifestyle' brands, including Woodbridge, Robert Mondavi Private Selection and La Famiglia. Company president and CEO Gregory Evans said that the luxury brands would be sold because they are fundamentally agricultural in nature, with long-term investment horizons' and better suited to a private entity. The company's flagship Robert Mondavi Winery brand, and its share in the Opus One joint venture with Baron Phillipe de Rothschild, are included in the sell-off. Much speculation in the US press has been centred around the possibility of the Mondavi family (who relinquished overall control of the company earlier this year) buying back the flagship winery in Napa. Wine Spectator went as far as quoting sources who claimed: Some family members and partners [are] scrambling to come up with funds to make the acquisitions.' Under the terms of the sale, the Robert Mondavi' trademark will be a separate entity co-owned by both the existing company and whoever becomes the new owner of the flagship Michael Mondavi winery. Michael Mondavi will continue as a director of the company but said that after 38 years' service, it was the right time to pursue my own personal interests'. He was one of the three original employees at the firm, which was established by his father in 1966. In recent years the company has suffered from public power struggles between Robert Mondavi and his two sons, Timothy and Michael. In a blind tasting of 18 Mondavi wines and Bordeaux first growths held in central London last week, a panel of wine writers and sommeliers picked the Mondavi 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve as the best, with the 1995 vintage voted runner-up. The tasting included vintages from 1991-1999, and featured chteaux such as Margaux, Lafite-Rothschild and Latour.