Robert Mondavi is widely considered to be the founding father of Napa Valley’s wine industry. He was the first to believe that Californian wines could measure up to the best in the world. As a result of his vision and innovative flair, his contribution to the industry is evident in wineries today.
He invented the ‘varietal’ Fumé Blanc, brought in natural farming, sustainable viticulture, stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels. Throughout his long career, he held the philosophy of ‘enriching life through wine’ and has worked tirelessly to promote premium Californian wines, particularly those made from Cabernet Sauvignon, earning him an iconic reputation in the industry.
Drawn by the Robert Mondavi philosophy, Geneviève Janssens moved to Napa in 1978; here she worked as an Assistant-Oenologist absorbing the culture before gaining experience in other wineries in California including Opus One. In 1997, she returned to the Robert Mondavi Winery as Director of Winemaking. In 2010, she was awarded Wine Enthusiast’s Winemaker of the Year Award.
The Robert Mondavi Winery has been farming in a sustainable fashion for many years now; they were named as the only wine company among ten agricultural and urban organisations in California to receive an IPM Innovator Award in 1998 from the California Environmental Protection Agency. This was for their environmentally-friendly pest control systems; they are also founding members of the Napa Sustainable Winegrowing Group. Today, they manage over 400 hectares of naturally farmed-vineyards in the Napa Valley.