Sunday, August 3, 2008

Wine History: Honoring Robert Mondavi

Here's the text of House Concurrent Resolution 365, issued after the recent death of Robert Mondavi:

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

-- Whereas Robert Mondavi, a much-loved and admired man of many talents, passed away on May 16, 2008, at the age of 94;
-- Whereas Robert Mondavi will be fondly and most famously remembered for his work in producing and promoting California wines on an international scale;
-- Whereas Robert Gerald Mondavi was born to Italian immigrant parents, Cesare and Rose, on June 18, 1913, in Virginia, Minnesota, and his family later moved to Lodi, California, where he attended Lodi High School;
-- Whereas after graduating from Stanford University in 1937 with a degree in economics and business administration, Robert Mondavi joined his father and younger brother, Peter, in running the Charles Krug Winery in the Napa Valley of California;
-- Whereas Robert Mondavi left Krug Winery in 1965 to establish his own winery in the Napa Valley, and, in 1966, motivated by his vision that California could produce world-class wines, he founded the first major winery built in Napa Valley since Prohibition, the Robert Mondavi Winery;
-- Whereas in the later 1960s, the release of the Robert Mondavi Winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon opened the eyes of the world to the potential of the Napa Valley region;
-- Whereas Robert Mondavi introduced new and innovative techniques of wine production, such as the use of stainless steel tanks to produce wines, like his now-legendary Fumé Blanc;
-- Whereas as a tireless advocate for California wine and food, and the Napa Valley, Robert Mondavi was convinced that California wines could compete with established European brands, and his confidence in the potential of Napa Valley wines was confirmed in 1976 when California wines defeated some well-known French vintages at the historic Paris Wine Tasting, or “Judgement of Paris”, wine competition;
-- Whereas in the late 1970s, Robert Mondavi created the first French-American wine venture when he joined with Baron Philippe de Rothschild in creating the Opus One Winery in Oakville, which produced its first vintage in 1979;
-- Whereas the success of the Robert Mondavi Winery, and the many international ventures Robert Mondavi pursued, allowed him to donate generously to various charitable causes, including the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science and Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for Performing Arts, both affiliated with the University of California, Davis, and the establishment of the American Center for Wine, Food, and the Arts;
-- Whereas those who knew Robert Mondavi recognized him as a uniquely passionate and brilliant man who took pride in promoting causes that he held close to his heart;
-- Whereas Robert Mondavi’s work as an ambassador for wine will be remembered fondly by all those whose lives he touched; and
-- Whereas Robert Mondavi will be deeply missed in the Napa Valley, in California, and throughout the world: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress honors the life of Robert Mondavi, a true pioneer and patriarch of the California wine industry.

Passed the House of Representatives June 26, 2008.