16 May 2008

16May- Robert Mondavi dies

photo by Ed Kashi/Corbis

The man was 94 and, therefore, his passing isn't so much of a shock but I still was a little surprised to see this headline.
I know it's a fairly easy thing to think of Mondavi as a grocery store kind of product but his influence, accomplishments and the respect he's garnered over the years from his colleagues is impressive. (for the moment ignoring the familial scandals, loss of control and the general present opinion of current affairs)
To take one nerdy thing and apply to another, I look at Mondavi in something of the same way as I look at George Lucas. Sure, the last decade or so has been broad, commercial and not terribly well-received. But we should look at the work put out in the eighties and before. That pioneer spirit that drove them to be more than what was accepted at the time. In many ways their work during this period shaped a nation, to be cliche for a moment, and inspired countless other artists of their respective genres to improve the world.
Hell of a legacy.

New York Times obituary

Wine Spectator article

New York Times article: Grapes and Power: A Mondavi Melodrama

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