All the vineyards in the Michael Mondavi Family Estate are farmed sustainably and are certified “green.” Dina handles marketing and foreign export sales. Son Robert Jr. ’94 serves as the overall viniculturist for Animo, Emblem, Isabel Mondavi Wines, and M by Michael Mondavi labels. Additionally, Michael is “founder & coach” of Folio Fine Wine Partners, which produces Oberon and Spellbound wines and also represents the fine wines crafted by 20 independent families in Europe and Argentina.
“My grandfather and father had vision and good business acumen, but my grandmother and mother made sure we did it with the proper values and they always treated employees like extended members of the family,” Michael said. “So fast forward to when I began my second company with Folio Fine Wine Partners, I made sure that the employees themselves owned 10 percent of it.”
The American wine dynasty called the House of Mondavi, has not just been good for the family and employees. In many ways, it singularly transformed Napa from its early existence as a sleepy farming community on Highway 29—the town you passed on your way elsewhere—into a busy, vibrant tourist destination with a host of wine tasting locations, new hotels, posh restaurants, and an actual night life.
“My father,” Michael said, “knew that in order to sell Robert Mondavi wines, we couldn’t just sell our brand. We had to help build the Napa region and sell, number one, California wine, number two, Napa wine, and number three, Robert Mondavi wine. If you don’t build the category, it’s pretty hard to build a business.”
And a wine region of grand renown isn’t a bad thing to have grown.