Californian and American wine has lost one of its greatest leaders.
Arresting and vibrantly engaging even towards the end, Mondavi is widely regarded as the greatest influence on American wine over the last four decades and an unstoppable force that led to the international renown that Californian wine in particular, now enjoys across the globe.
He was a leader that introduced and blended New and Old World fine winemaking techniques to the Napa Valley while he owned his namesake winery in Oakville. He was also credited for his unselfish support of other local vintners and his constant efforts to encourage the sharing of winemaking expertise and experience all across the valley. His single-minded one-man PR campaign for the Napa Valley and its wine could be considered his single largest contribution to the wine world, however.
The world is a lesser place without his outsized personality, but his legacy remains with the knowledge and unflagging joy of wine that he brought to people the world over and the assurance that the wine industry will continue to grow, led by the new leaders that he helped nurture to replace him.