From the WE Library

The House of Mondavi



The much-anticipated The House of Mondavi (Gotham Books, $28) by Julia Flynn Siler is a riveting read that follows the triumphs and tribulations of wine's great Caesar, Robert Mondavi, and his family. At times a dark story, the book discusses sins of the father and sons, which repeat generationally as parents deceive their progeny and siblings battle and betray. Telling tales of boardroom machinations and barbarians at the vineyard arch, in the form of Constellation Brands, are a modern Aesop for family businesses.

But for all its focus on familial failings, the book also explores the Mondavi family's great successes, namely, the building of a  brand that became synonymous with wine.

Siler offers a realistic but fair take on the drama that eventually resulted in Robert's philanthropic over-extension and sale to Constellation. We also follow Robert's innovations, interwoven with California's fertile wine history, including the Opus One joint venture and the creation of a functioning vineyard at Disney's California Adventure. Mondavi's wife Margrit's pioneering in the world of food and wine enjoyment—including the company involvement with the Great Chefs program and Copia, is also highlighted.

There are many great stories in this book: stories of business and family, of betrayal and pride's price, and of the incremental erosion that destroys a great empire. But ultimately, like any great story, this is one of people, and what fascinating people they are.      

View Ben Narasin's blog FoodWineLife.

Edit Module
Edit Module

Related Articles

Restaurants Specializing in Wines from the Southern Hemisphere

Many American lists are light on wines from the Southern Hemisphere. But these restaurants give bottles from the bottom half of the globe their due respect.

An Epic Table for Wine Lovers

Take your hosting to the next level with this gorgeous grapevine table.

California's Best Syrahs

These five regions of the Central Coast are doing the Northern Rhône’s star variety right.

James Beard Foundation Announces Award Semi-Finalists

Plus Jim Beam faces lawsuit, and other news and notes in the world of wine, beer and spirits.
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit Module

Subscribe

You can unsubscribe at any time. View an example of our newsletter.

Edit Module
Edit Module

Shop

Edit Module
>
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit Module

Related Web Articles