“Wine to me is passion,” said Robert Mondavi.
“It’s family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit.”
Mondavi, who worked tirelessly to promote California wine, coined the phrase “Fume Blanc” to spark consumer interest in Sauvignon Blanc, and strived to see wine become an everyday part of the American table, died on May 16. He was 94.
We’ve reported extensively here on Mondavi’s contributions, and issue 8 of The Grapevine, the official publication of the wine clubs of Vinesse, is dedicated to his memory.
And just last week, more than 1,200 people gathered in the Napa Valley town of Oakville to celebrate the life of the Babe Ruth of wine.
It was an invitation-only event — and good thing, as attendees filled the back lawn of Mondavi’s namesake winery.
The date selected for the event — June 18 — was no accident. The 18th would have been Mondavi’s 95th birthday.
If you happen to be in the Napa Valley around Independence Day, be aware that a public celebration of Mondavi’s life is planned for July 5, also at the Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Highway 29 figures to be jam-packed that day.