1966

The Winery's first harvest is celebrated with the first Blessing of the Grapes.

1967

One of the first goals Robert Mondavi set for himself was recreating Sauvignon Blanc, which was, at the time a sweet, unnuanced wine. He sought inspiration in Loire Valley Pouilly Fumé, enlivening it with a uniquely California profile. He named the delightfully rich and refined yet bright, fresh wine he created Fumé Blanc. It’s Sauvignon Blanc, plus so much more.

Released in 1968, Fumé Blanc remains Mr. Mondavi’s signature and one of  Robert Mondavi Winery’s most popular wines.

1968

The first vintage (1966) of Robert Mondavi Winery's Cabernet Sauvignon is released. A shot heard throughout the Valley, it would inspire the waves of pioneers to follow.

In time, the path Robert Mondavi cleared would lead to the creation of some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignons, Chardonnays, Merlots and Sauvignon Blancs in the world.

1969

The Winery's Summer Music Festival debuts as a Napa Valley Symphony fundraiser. For almost 40 years the summer concert has continued to bring world-famous artists to the courtyard of Robert Mondavi Winery.

Each year the proceeds from the festival are donated to charitable organizations such as the Napa Valley Symphony, local music education, and other charitable efforts, including the Hurricane Katrina disaster relief fund.

Artists that have performed include classic artists such as: Ella Fitzgerald, Dave Brubeck, Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Pearl Bailey, Lena Horne

1970

Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Robert Mondavi meet for the first time in Hawaii. The Baron suggests the idea of a joint venture, which later becomes Opus One.

The photo here is from a later time when the Baron visited Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa.

1971

The Winery's Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon, the finest wine of each vintage, is first labeled with the reserve designation.

With the exception of 1972, we have produced Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve every year with remarkable praise by critics and consumers. Our Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is produced using fruit from our famous To Kalon Vineyard, which is recognized as one of the finest vineyards in Napa Valley for powerful and complex Cabernet Sauvignon.

1972

The Los Angeles Times Vintners Tasting selects Robert Mondavi Winery's 1969 Cabernet Sauvignon as the top wine.

1980

In 1978, the Baron Philippe de Rothschild invited Robert Mondavi to Bordeaux and within an hour they had outlined the framework for a joint venture.

In 1979, Tim Mondavi and Lucien Sionneau create the first vintage of the joint venture wine, and in 1980the formal partnership is announced as Opus One.

1981

Robert Mondavi's vision of the Napa Valley Wine Auction is launched by Napa Valley Vintners.

Robert and his wife Margrit were the first chairpersons of the Auction Napa Valley. Today the Auction Napa Valley continues to be one of the largest and most significant fundraisers in the country, with millions of dollars donated to local charities annually.

1982

In 1982, Robert Mondavi calls on his fellow vintners for the creation of a consumer education program to promote the role of wine with meals and demonstrate wine’s history in the context of human civilization.

In the later '80s, these programs became known as the “mission tour.”

1983

Seven years after founding the Great Chefs of France program, Robert expands the program to include the great chefs of America as a separate series.

Pioneering chefs such as Alice Waters and Julia Child are featured at the winery.

1985

Robert Mondavi Winery begins planting vineyards in a closely spaced manner to maximize fruit concentration and character.

Today we have one of the largest high-density plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Napa Valley.

1987

In recognition of Robert Mondavi's 50th harvest, a new Reserve label is introduced. The unusual shape of the label is a breakthrough on the increasingly crowded shelves of American wine.

1988

Robert Mondavi launches the Mission Program to educate the public about wine and its role throughout civilization.

The Mission

At Robert Mondavi, we view wine as an integral part of our culture, heritage and the gracious way of life.

We believe wine is the temperate, civilized, sacred, romantic mealtime beverage. It has been praised for centuries by statesman, philosophers, poets and scholars and has been with us since civilization began and will be with us indefinitely. Now it is up to us to educate ourselves about what wine really is.

1990

Robert Mondavi is granted the “Merit Award” from the American Society of Enology and Viticulture and in the same year received the “Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year” from the James Beard Foundation.

1991

Robert is recognized by the Culinary Institute of America as an “Ambassador” and is granted a “Master of Aesthetics of Gastronomy” award.

In this same year Robert is recognized in the National Business Hall of Fame by Junior Achievement, Inc.

1992

Natural farming, introduced in the 1970s, is formally implemented throughout all the Robert Mondavi Winery vineyards.

Robert Mondavi Winery has been recognized as a leader in environmental responsibility. Dedicated to growing wine naturally, the winery introduced its natural farming and conservation program with goals of worker health, environmental protection and enhanced grape quality.

Natural wine growing for Robert Mondavi Winery means working in harmony with nature to protect the health of people and the earth while producing the finest-quality wine. Environmentally friendly practices include conserving soils and water, managing pests, and recycling water and materials. For more on our growing techniques, visit the Sustainable Farming section of this website.

1995

Robert Mondavi is inducted into the Bay Area Business Hall of Fame and is also awarded an honorary degree, “Associate Member of Cornell Society of Hotelmen” from Cornell University.

1996

As the Olympic torch made its way around the country in preparation for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Mr. Mondavi was asked to serve as a Torch Bearer.

At 83 years old, he carried the torch down the streets of Napa.

1997

Genevieve Janssens returns to Robert Mondavi Winery, as Director of Winemaking, a role she continues to hold today.

Genevieve first worked at the Robert Mondavi Winery in 1978. After leaving to work on her own, she later returned to work with the Mondavi family with their joint-venture project Opus One in 1989. In 1997, she left Opus One to return to Robert Mondavi Winery. Genevieve worked jointly with Robert and his son, Timothy on the design and construction of the winery's To Kalon Reserve Fermentation Cellar.

1998

Robert Mondavi’s autobiography, “Harvests of Joy: My passion for Excellence,” is published.

1999

The first major renovation in the history of Robert Mondavi Winery commences, creating a new state-of-the-art red winemaking and visitor program facility that would later come to be named the To Kalon Cellar.

2000

The 2000 vintage was the first to benefit from the nearly completed To Kalon Reserve Fermentation Cellar.

With the To Kalon Project, Robert Mondavi Winery has created a state-of-the-art cellar for producing and barrel-aging its Reserve, District and Vineyard-Designated red wines. The project also enhanced the winery's visitor programs. Planning started in October 1996, and work began in January 1999. The renovated winery was ready for the 2000 harvest, and construction was completed in March 2001.

The new multi-level To Kalon Fermentation Cellar was built on the west side of the winery. Directly beneath the new fermentation cellar lays a new first-year barrel cellar for Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. Its underground location provides ideal temperature and humidity for aging wine. The original barrel room now houses the second-year Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve barrels and includes a special area for Fumé Blanc Reserve and To Kalon Vineyard I Block Fumé Blanc.

The new winemaking facility features 56 French oak fermenters. Prized for their ability to enhance aromas, flavors and complexity in red wines, the oak fermenters were handcrafted in Cognac by a team of Taransaud coopers. The coopers numbered each stave before disassembling them fermenters for shipping to Oakville, where the team then reconstructed them in-place at the winery.

2002

Robert Mondavi is recognized by the California State Assembly for his lifetime contributions to the California Wine industry.

2005

The Republic of France bestows the Legion d'Honneur, France's highest presidential honor, upon Robert Mondavi.

The award was in recognition of his work to establish a strong relationship between the wine industries of France and the United States. In a ceremony held at Opus One, the French Ambassador presented Robert Mondavi with his medal.

20066

On July 16th, 2006, Robert Mondavi Winery celebrated its 40th anniversary.

2011

2011 Genevieve Janssens named Winemaker of the Year by Wine Enthusiast

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