I left off last week after going through the first chapter of the Mondavi Story, which ended with the ongoing adventures of the Peter Mondavi Branch of the family at Charles Krug. Peter and Robert are the children of Cesare, the Mondavi who started it all.  In a way, Robert was following in his father’s footsteps when he set off to found his eponymous winery in 1964.

As with most success stories, the factual has gained a drape of the romantic with the passage of time. I certainly do not know all the intimate details of this split, though many have reported that fisticuffs preceded Robert’s fateful decision to head out on his own. A decision that must have been particularly difficult knowing that, not only was the Charles Krug Winery profitable, but much of this success was directly attributable to Robert’s tireless efforts on its behalf.

The story of the Mondavi Family is intertwined with that of the famed To Kalon vineyard. For years the source of some of the world's greatest examples of Cabernet Sauvignon, To Kalon has also quietly been responsible for exceptional Suavignon Blanc. This slice of Oakville deserves all its accolades, and is as close to a Grand Cru as Napa Valley can claim.