Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt

2004, The Year In Which Absolutely Nothing Happened at the Robert Mondavi Winery (Really, We Swear)

I stopped by BevMo this afternoon on a whim - we were out of pink wine, so yeah, I'm sure you understand - and I thought that I really should be a better wino than I already am, so I decided to buy a bottle of Chardonnay, which is something I do about as often as intentionally watch anything featuring Ernest or the Olsen Twins. Anyhow, I wandered around for a while... do I want the 2005 Rosemount Hunter Valley? Nah, too cheap. OK, how about something Argentine? Nah, too unknown. Oh, wait, how about a Robert Mondavi wine?

History as seen at - blank for 2004, but event-filled for other years...

For you non-Californians and/or non-winos out there, Robert Mondavi is the grande dame (you'll have to translate that for me into Italian, sorry) of California wines (in a sense). If anything, he was probably the biggest, most tireless promoter we had from the 1960s through the early 1990s; he started his own winery back in the '60s and worked incredibly hard to make the argument that California wines could actually be good, and that Americans could be convinced to drink them with dinner. [If you've ever heard of fumé blanc, you have Robert Mondavi to thank for that, for example.]

Of course, he eventually grew old, things spiraled out of control, and as is often the case with family businesses, the kids eventually took over parts of the business and then it really went to hell. One of the kids decided to make wines that no one liked (thanks, Tim), one of the other kids decided that it somehow made great business sense to partner with Disney (without writing a contract that would cover their ass in case middle America wasn't interested in drinking wine from plastic glasses in a fake vineyard at California Adventure... oops), and Robert himself gave away millions of dollars to charities (good idea, but not when you need the money to actually run the business).

Eventually, there was an IPO. Eventually, California Adventure failed. Eventually, consumers decided they didn't like that style of wine any more. Eventually, everything fell apart. Eventually, there was a hostile takeover and the family was kicked out of the winery.

Guess what year that happened?

That's right. Absolutely nothing happened at the Robert Mondavi Winery in 2004. See, their Web site says so.

  • It's July 2013.

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