AT A GLANCE:
Position: No 12 & The Best Vineyard in North America
Name of wine estate: Robert Mondavi Winery
Wine region: Napa
Standout points: The historic To Kalon vineyard; the Four Decades Dinner
Winemaker: Geneviève Janssens
Wine style: New World Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc with French sensibilities
A US wine archetype
“Walking through To Kalon, admiring its contours and vines, smelling the richness of its soil, I knew this was a very special place. It exuded an indefinable quality I could not describe, a feeling that was almost mystical.” So said the pioneering Napa winemaker Robert Mondavi, prima causa of American fine winemaking, of his inspiration for creating the winery which bears his name. Today, this is one of the most-visited wineries in Napa, promising a multi-faceted wine experience which will repay your curiosity many times over.
To Kalon Vineyard
Robert Mondavi Winery was founded in 1966 with a vision to create Napa Valley wines to match the world’s finest. Mondavi chose To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville, one of the most coveted vine-growing parcels in the US, as the home for his estate. To Kalon is renowned for producing some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon wines in the world. This is also the vineyard from which Mondavi makes its flagship Fumé Blanc – from what are thought to be the oldest Sauvignon Blanc vines in the Americas.
Art in the afternoon
Robert Mondavi Winery was also one of the first to offer tours, tastings, and culinary and art experiences for visitors. An excellent way to experience it is the ‘Art in the Afternoon’ walking tour, on which you will enjoy a guided stroll to see the Mondavi permanent collection of Napa Valley artwork and totemic sculptures – artists from Beniamino Bufano to Pablo Picasso – followed by a tasting of two of the estate’s multi award-winning wines.
Over the years, Robert Mondavi Winery has evolved to offer a menu of excellent culinary experiences, from standard tastings to the ultimate ‘Four Decades Dinner’, allowing you to taste wines from each of the last four decades followed by four-course wine pairing dinner in the winery’s Vineyard Room. The winery also hosts numerous seasonal festivals and events, including the annual Margrit Mondavi Summer Concert Series. Christmas time, when the winery hosts its annual tree lighting celebration, with caroling, and horse and buggy rides through the To Kalon Vineyard, is an especially lovey time to go.