Winemakers like Geneviève are paving the way for new generations while making names for themselves in what is predominantly a male-driven industry.
"Walking in the To Kalon Vineyard, watching the grapes develop and tasting them along the way until they reach optimum maturity and ripeness—that’s what I love most about winemaking. I also enjoy creating and crafting wines with a great team." - Geneviève
Women winemakers have been on the job in California since the 1880s. Today, roughly 10% of bonded wineries in California, about 450, have a woman at the helm. The quality of the wines they produce makes it clear why these “women winemakers" prefer to be known as winemakers, period.
Food & Wine's #FOODWINEWOMEN series spotlights top women in food and drink in collaboration with Toklas Society. Here, Robert Mondavi Winery’s Geneviève Janssens tells how she turned errors into positives.
Wine & Spirits magazine asked sommeliers at America's favorite restaurants which wines their customers request the most. Over and over, they answered, Robert Mondavi Winery.
#7 Most Popular Sauvignon Blanc - Napa Valley Fumé Blanc & Fumé Blanc Reserve
#15 Most Popular Cabernet Sauvginon - Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
New Artwork Unveiled at Robert Mondavi Winery
Robert Mondavi Winery is proud to unveil our newest sculpture in honor of our founder, Robert Mondavi. The 7-foot tall, 3,000-pound sculpture, created by artist Len Urso, was installed in front of the winery and presented as a gift from chairman Richard Sands to Margrit Mondavi in honor of her late husband.
Len Urso, an artist and professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, was commissioned to create the sculpture last year. Made from copper, the sculpture took more than 2,500 hours to create and was inspired by Robert Mondavi's lifelong passion and attitude for life. Richard, Margrit and Len all agreed they wanted the piece to capture Mr. Mondavi's unique spirit and strength of character. An evolutionary idea brought to life by three artists, Len, Margrit and Richard, the installation highlights the continuing legacy of celebrating art and culture at Robert Mondavi Winery.
"That Margrit can relate to this form in a personal way is very important," noted Urso. "It acknowledges that I made the right decision. I see this as a sculpture in the image of Robert Mondavi and that's very important."
Born in 1953, Len Urso holds an endowed chair as the Ann Mowris Mulligan Distinguished Professor in the School of American Crafts at Rochester Institute of Technology. His work is exhibited nationally and internationally in museums as well as private and corporate collections.
"This came about very incidentally. Richard Sands and I were having dinner and we discussed the anniversary of Robert Mondavi," recalled Margrit Mondavi, an avid painter and artist. "I suggested a life-sized sculpture of Robert Mondavi to put in front of the winery."
"I've always loved Len's work and artistic talent," said Richard Sands – an artist in his own right as a woodworking sculptor. "When Margrit and I first discussed this project, I told her we'd find a way to make it happen – and we did."
2011 To Kalon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon - "A young whippersnapper of a Cab now with black plum and cherry fruit at its core, edged in toasty oak, cigar and earth flavors. If you are patient enough to buy and hold, this wine will pay big dividends in 10–15 years."
This is the winery's first vintage of prominently labeling its reserve-tier Cab under the To Kalon name, a nod to the vineyard's importance in the blend, which is almost all Cabernet Sauvignon, with handfuls of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Soft and structured, it's a subtly powerful wine, offering cassis, cranberry, dried herb and savory touch of black tea. - V.B.
Robert Mondavi's soaring, sunlight-filled Appellation Tasting Room, featuring rotating sculpture, painting and photography from local and emerging artists, is one of Napa's finest. Winery chef Jeff Mosher cooks a changing three-course menu served Wednesdays and Saturdays that highlights produce from the organic vegetable garden.
Wine & Spirits, U.S. New Releases
Grown at To-Kalon, where Mondavi planted what are now its oldest dry-farmed, head-pruned sauvignon vines in 1960, this is mostly from a younger planting on that site from the early 1990s. The wine barrel-fermented in older oak and aged ten months on the lees. So you'd expect a major oak presence and something creamy-rich. You get that, plus a persistence of nectarine and white peach flavor, creating a fascinating dynamic with the oak tannins, together enhancing the earthy character of the fruit. - Joshua Greene
Fruity in black plum and ripe raspberry, it’s structured and weighty on the palate, dark and brambly with firm, substantial tannins. The grapes come from both Rancho Carneros and the mighty Hyde Vineyard, both sites planted to relatively older vines, which show through in this wine’s savory side. – V.B.
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