Michael Mondavi started working with the family wine business since college. Immersed in the wine-making community of Napa, Mondavi co-founded the Robert Mondavi Winery with his father Robert. Michael has worked in every aspect of winemaking from winemaker to the business end and everything in between. Years later, a public falling out between father and son, son led to Michael moving on to create his own successful company.
Michael Mondavi Family Estate was co-founded in 1999. Michael, his wife (Isabel), daughter (Dina), and son (Rob Jr.) collectively purchased a plot of rugged Manzanita lined land high on Atlas Peak which would become Michael Mondavi Family Estate vineyard. While Isabel prefers to stay out of the limelight, their children are actively involved in the every day duties of the company.
Michael Mondavi Family Estate statement: “We pride ourselves on creating a family-owned, heritage driven portfolio of small-production, artisanal wines. While Cabernet Sauvignon is at our core, we take a thoughtful approach on crafting wines from several varietals, including Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.”
Michael has been incredibly active in the NAPA community and throughout the years has held various titles for the Napa Valley Vintners Association, Winegrowers of California, Napa Valley Wine Auction, and others. He was named Industry Executive of the Year by The Market Watch Leaders, a group of top industry executives in 1998. In 1997, he received the Who’s Who in Food and Wine Award by the James Beard Foundation, and in 1995 he was awarded the World of Food and Wine Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2008 Michael launched M by Michael Mondavi, a single vineyard 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from his own Animo vineyard, located at a high elevation in the Foss Valley microclimate atop Atlas Peak in the Napa Valley. This would be the first wine that bears his name.
“My grandfather, (Cesare Mondavi ) said, his most important job was to leave the soil in his vineyards in healthier condition than when he received it from his father and uncle,” said Michael. The idea of integrity was drummed into him, since he was a child, allowing him to become the success he is today. He has committed to natural farming and has ensured that all estate vineyards are farmed sustainably, along with working with trusted growers when fruit is not grown on Estate vineyards.
“We spend time in the vineyard to understand all aspects of the cycle – Mother Nature is in charge but we must help and support her. Because of this, we have committed extensive time and resources in long-term sustainability, and both our winery and vineyards are recognized as ‘Green Certified.’” He added that creating this company was a labor of love…that continues to grow through the years.
Michael and his wife Isabel reside in Napa, near their children Rob Mondavi, Jr. and Dina, and their respective families. Visit the website for for info about Michael Mondavi Family Estate – https://www.michaelmondavifamilyestate.com