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Published:  23 July, 2008

Robert Mondavi is buying Tenuta dell'Ornellaia, the highly regarded wine estate founded in 1981 by Marchese Lodovico Antinori in Bolgheri, Tuscany. The company has held a minority interest in the estate since November 1999 and is now purchasing the remaining shares. Tenuta dell'Ornellaia will continue to be managed independently by the team that currently runs the estate, including Leonardo Raspini, general manager, Alex Belson, commercial director and Thomas Duroux, winemaker, along with longtime viticultural and winemaking consultants Danny Shuster and Michel Rolland. The winery produces Ornellaia, the world-famous SuperTuscan named Wine Spectator's Wine of the Year in 2001, Masseto, Le Serre Nuove, Le Volte and Poggio alle Gazze. Robert Mondavi will bring the Frescobaldi family, its Italian joint venture partners in Luce della Vite, into Tenuta dell'Ornellaia as joint partners in June. The Frescobaldis will provide financial support. This estate and its wines are a benchmark for all of Italy,' said Michael Mondavi, chairman of Robert Mondavi. Sharing ownership with the Frescobaldis is consistent with our joint venture philosophy of having local partners who understand the wines and the culture of the region.' Lamberto Frescobaldi, technical director of Marchesi de' Frescobaldi, said: We are delighted to keep a part of Ornellaia in Italy. We intend to continue with vineyard expansion over the next few years as well as building a new winery to house the expansion in production.'