Robert Mondavi Corporation
Robert Mondavi began making wine in Napa Valley in 1943. He started working in the wine industry with his family. He later started his own winery in Oakville, California. Mondavi, along with his two sons, Michael and Timothy, would guide the Robert Mondavi Winery to the strong position the company enjoys today.
Mondavi introduced many new techniques to the California wine industry that included cold fermentation, stainless steel tanks, and the use of small French oak barrels to age fine wine. To stimulate the consumption of fine wine, Mondavi hosted many tours and educational events. He also established the Great Chefs program; the first winery culinary program in the U.S. Mondavi also launched television and radio advertising at the turn of the 21st century.
Mondavi takes great pride in the winemaking process. Mondavi uses natural techniques throughout the entire grape growing and winemaking process. They have also introduced many environmentally friendly farming and winemaking practices over the years. Most of the grapes (63%) for Robert Mondavi Winery (RMW) label are obtained from company vineyards. This ensures that the quality of grapes are the highest for RMW.
The Mondavi Company owned and leased 9,700 acres of vineyards in California, while joint ventures accounted for an additional 1,600 acres in Chile, Italy, and California. These vineyards accounted for approximately 7% of the company’s total grape supply in FY2001.
By the year 2005, Mondavi plans to increase internal grape sourcing to 25%. The remainder of the grapes comes from 360 independent growers, 100 of whom operated vineyards in Napa Valley.
The company operates six wineries in California: Robert Mondavi Winery, Woodbridge, Byron, La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi, Arrowood, and Opus One that use modern technology. The flagship winery has a state-of-the-art gravity flow system that eliminates the need for pumps to transfer juice. Oak barrel aging remains the trademark of Mondavi’s winemaking process.
Robert Mondavi produces 16 different types of wines. Each brand has a high level of quality in that particular market segment.
Robert Mondavi Winery sold 356,000 cases of RMW in FY2001, making it the firm’s third highest selling label. The brand consisted of four classes of wine: Napa Valley, District, Reserve, and Spotlight. The Napa Valley wines were the brand’s core product. The District wines represented particular appellations such as Oakville, Carneros, and Stags’ Leap. Reserve were the highest quality, while Spotlight were limited editions only available at the winery store.
Robert Mondavi Coastal Private Selection is the line of products at the lower end of the super premium. They were intended to help keep a higher price for RMW. They were initially introduced as Coastal brand, but the name Robert Mondavi was added to help enhance the image of the wines. The wine is the second highest selling brand.
Woodbridge is Mondavi’s popular premium wine introduced in 1979. It accounts for 76% of the company’s case volume and 57% of revenue in 2001. Woodbridge carried the Mondavi name at first, but the company decided to lose Robert Mondavi on the wine to highlight the profile of the Woodbridge brand.
Other Mondavi brands include the Bryon Winery, La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi line of Italian varietal wines, and Arrowood winery. The Bryon winery wines are in the ultra premium and luxury segments. La Famiglia is marketed to upscale Italian restaurants, and Arrowood is priced over $40.
Mondavi has joint ventures with companies all over the world. Opus One with Chateau Mouton-Rothschild is the one that enhances its reputation as one of the world’s finest winemakers. Mondavi also has joint ventures with wineries in Italy (2), Chile, and Argentina.
Mondavi has an extensive distribution network throughout the United States. They have a network of 100 independent wine and spirits...