Napa Valley Legend Peter Mondavi Sr Dies At 101
“They are not long, the days of wine and roses. Out of a misty dream, our path emerges for a while, then closes, within a dream.” Ernest Dowson, The Poems and Prose of Ernest Dowson
The wine world is mourning the passing of a legend. On Saturday, Napa Valley pioneer and innovator Peter Mondavi Sr passed away at 101. He steered his family business, the Charles Krug winery, through more than fifty years of changes in America’s wine industry, and only retired after his 100th birthday.
Peter revolutionized the industry with his research on cold fermentation. Whites and rosé́́́s used to fade, losing their distint flavors and characteristics, through heat fermentation. His new techniques resulted in crisper, fruitier wines. He was also a pioneer in cold sterile filtration.
Mondavi has long been recognized and honored for his contributions to the world of wine. He was the last survivor of the “Twelve Living Legends in the Napa Valley” (1986), and received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the California State Fair (2009). He was honored by Gov. Jerry Brown, and entered into the Congressional Record (2011). He was inducted into the Culinary Institute of America Vintners Hall of Fame (2012) and announced “I share this award with my parents.”
After a lifetime spent building, growing and protecting his family’s business, Mondavi was asked about his proudest accomplishment. He answered, “Never losing control of our family winery. If I could, I would tell my father: I did the best I could during the difficult years. I was determined and we held on.”
We believe with that legacy he – and his family – should be quite proud.
Peter Rudolph Mondavi, Sr.
November 8, 1914 – February 20, 2016
A toast to you, sir.