For thirty years, we've been making classic wines that reflect the diversity of California's winegrowing regions.
"To succeed and have a happy life, you need common sense, a commitment to hard work and the courage to go your own way."
– Robert Mondavi
In the early 1900's, Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, newlyweds from Sassoferrato in northern Italy, settled in Minnesota. In 1919, the National Prohibition Act was passed, banning the sale of alcohol. This seemed incomprehensible to Italian families, to whom wine was a staple of daily life. Luckily, a loophole in the law allowed people to make 200 gallons of wine each year for family consumption.
Cesare became involved in shipping wine grapes from California for home winemaking, and noticed that the majority of the grapes were coming from a place called "Lodi" in California. Sensing an opportunity, he moved his family, which now included a young Robert Mondavi and started his own business shipping grapes back east to Italian-American families. Robert's first job was nailing crates together to hold the grapes.
Robert's parents instilled in him the virtues of hard work and encouraged him to explore the growing wine industry. After studying business and chemistry at Stanford University and taking a crash course in viticulture and enology at the University of California at Berkeley, Robert Mondavi immersed himself in all aspects of the wine industry.
Creating A Legacy
Robert Mondavi felt confident that the Napa Valley and California could ultimately create wines that would stand shoulder to shoulder with the great wines of the world. He founded the iconic Robert Mondavi Winery in 1966 near Oakville, California; the first major winery to be built in the Napa Valley since Prohibition.
After the outstanding success of his Napa Valley winery, Robert Mondavi pursued his second vision of creating delicious wines for everyday enjoyment. Having grown up in Lodi, Robert knew the region was ideal for growing wine grapes from which he could produce quality wines at affordable prices. In 1979, he acquired a local cooperative of grape growers, naming the winery after a nearby town - the Woodbridge Winery was born.