Napa Valley icon Robert Mondavi Winery earlier this year launched ‘Soul of Napa Reimagined’ campaign as part of a new rebranding campaign.

One of the first things you learn about American wine history is the influence of Robert Mondavi. The Californian winemaker established his namesake Oakville winery back in 1966 with a singular vision of producing wines that would rival the best wines to come out of Europe.

By all counts he succeeded. Mondavi pioneered innovations about Californian wine growing and production, and even in distribution and retail; many of his ideas are still employed in California winemaking till today.

For a time, Robert Mondavi signified quality and American enterprise. But over the years the brand suffered from family feuding and lawsuits, resulting in a steady decline of quality in its wines that affected its standing (a saga well captured in the book “The House of Mondavi, The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty” by Julia Flynn Siler). Until it was eventually bought over for a princely sum of US$1.3 billion by Constellation Brands in 2004, to much surprise (and even more consternation) from the wine industry.

Mondavi’s original enterprising spirit is what Constellation Brands aim to recapture when earlier this year it kicked off a new rebranding campaign for Robert Mondavi Winery, ‘Soul of Napa Reimagined’. Through the new campaign, Constellation Brands hopes its new initiatives will ‘inspire wine lovers to dream, do, share, and celebrate founder Robert Mondavi’s spirit’.

Robert Mondavi 2018 The Estates Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

“The Soul of Napa Reimagined campaign embodies the ambitious and fearless spirit of our founder, Robert Mondavi,” says Stuart Crabb, Vice President of APAC & Canada Sales at Constellation Brands. “The goal of this campaign is to encourage others to celebrate their dreams, to inspire our team to carry Mondavi’s legacy forward with an unwavering commitment to crafting high-quality wines, and to reinforce our position as one of the preeminent Napa Valley wine producers.”

Among the initiatives to mark the brand refresh was an reintroduction of some of Robert Mondavi’s iconic wines to media in the Asia Pacific region led by Mark de Vere, Master of Wine at Robert Mondavi Winery, namely, the 2019 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2018 The Estates Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2018 To Kalon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

And rightly so. Because Cabernet Sauvignon was hardly planted in Napa Valley, until the Mondavi family came along. Single varietal Cabernet Sauvignon too, since before Mondavi few wines were promoted as single varietal. And Oakville, because that’s the spiritual home of Robert Mondavi Winery. Not to forget To Kalon, that prized plot of land in Napa that Robert Mondavi gained after a legal settlement which catapulted him onto the path of success.

“We strive to produce fine wines of elegance and complexity at Robert Mondavi Winery, and wines that are representative of the Napa Valley and recognised around the world for their excellence,” says Geneviève Janssens, chief winemaker at Robert Mondavi Winery.

Robert Mondavi may have passed in 2008, but his enduring legacy – especially on California wine – continues. Expect to see more from Robert Mondavi Winery in the future.

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