Commerce school cultivates
innovation and creativity in wine industry
Visionary winemaker Robert Mondavi to speak
here April 26
Mondavi, father of the American wine industry, will be the keynote
speaker at a symposium on the business of wine sponsored by the
McIntire School of
Commerce April 26, in Old Cabell Hall Auditorium, beginning
at 1:15 p.m. The afternoon symposium, including Mondavis
talk, How the Good Life Became a Great Business: Perspectives
on Creativity, Innovation, Corporate Success, and Life,
is free and open to the public.
Mondavi, left, with two of his children at their Robert Mondavi
winery in Napa Valley.
wine industry experts scheduled to speak are Michael Etzell, co-owner
of Beaux Freres, a popular Oregon winery; John Gay, president
and chief executive officer of Southcorp Wines, The Americas,
which distributes the Australian wines made by Lindemans, Rosemount
Estate and Penfolds in North and South America; and Paul Lukacs,
wine columnist and author of American Vintage: The Rise
of American Wine.
Kluge, president and chief executive officer of Charlottesvilles
Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard, and Vic Motto, a Napa Valley-based
wine-industry consultant, also will participate.
program, Creativity and Innovation in Mature Industries,
is the third annual spring symposium sponsored by McIntires
Center for Growth Enterprises. The symposium, which focuses on
the wine business as an example of a mature industry, is co-sponsored
by the Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard and Host Marriott Inc.
will explore the many challenges facing the American wine industry
including a highly competitive marketplace, asset-intensive
and technologically demanding processes, regulatory barriers to
efficient distribution, and cultural hindrances to market growth
and offer examples of success. Speakers also will discuss
the growth of the Virginia wine industry in the past two decades.
was born to parents who immigrated to the United States from Italy.
He earned degrees in economics and business from Stanford University
and went to work for two California wineries, Sunnyhill Winery
and Charles Krug, where he sought ways to improve product quality.
1966, at age 53, Mondavi built the first major winery in Napa
Valley since the 1933 repeal of Prohibition. At Robert Mondavi
Winery, he married Old World traditions with modern American technology,
becoming the first California winemaker to use cold fermentation,
stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels.
successful marketer, he sold dry-fermented oak-aged Sauvignon
Blanc as Fume Blanc, a move credited with popularizing
this grape variety in America. He also was the first in Napa Valley
to use blind tastings to enable buyers to evaluate wine quality.
founder, Thomas Jefferson, was passionate about wines, enjoying
them during his stay in Paris as American minister to France (1784-89).
On his return to the United States, Jefferson tried for years
to grow grapes at Monticello.
viticultural success eluded Jefferson, but Mondavi, now in his
late 80s, more than any other person in the U.S., made Jeffersons
vision a success.