The Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville, Napa Valley. The late vintners and philanthropists Margrit and Robert Mondavi were instrumental in transforming Napa Valley into a wine, food, and culture mecca.
NAPA VALLEY – “SALUTE, SANTE, CHEERS, MARGRIT! Tonight we raise our glass to you!” read the invitation from Festival Napa Valley, for a tribute to Margrit Biever Mondavi this past July.
The 91-year-old widow of vintner Robert Mondavi, who is credited with putting California wines on the world map, Margrit was honored for her more than four decades of dedicated work to help fine art, music, food, and wine flourish in the California wine country.
I flew in for the occasion to be with my dear friend, knowing she had been ill and fearing this Festival might be her last. Indeed, just weeks later, on September 2, Margrit’s remarkable life came to an end.
Though each of the ten evening events at Festival 2016 was extraordinary, the one honoring Margrit at the Far Niente Winery was to me the most extraordinary of all.
Margrit Mondavi, one of Napa’s most revered and influential figures, showcased fine food and wine, and encouraged and supported great vintners, chefs, artists, and musicians.
Robert and Margrit Mondavi celebrated his 90th birthday in June 2003, five years before he passed away. During their 28-year marriage, they traveled the world to promote California wines.