Charles Krug Winery Celebrates 75 Years of Cesare Mondavi Family Stewardship

Charles Krug Winery, one of the great family owned wine estates of the world and the oldest winery in Napa Valley, announced a diverse range of programming for 2018 to commemorate 75-years and four generations of ownership by Cesare Mondavi & Family. Since Cesare Mondavi’s purchase of the property in 1943, the winery has been regarded as a leader in Bordeaux-varietal wines and winemaking innovation. The family has also been committed to raising the profile for Napa Valley wines, and to a larger extent, California wines worldwide. The planned series of commemorative tastings and events reflect the extent to which the family has influenced the wine world over the past 75 years. To mark the occasion, the winery is also planning its first-ever limited release of three library vintages (1974, 1991, 2003) from its flagship Vintage Selection Cabernet series, which dates back to 1944. The wines will be sold on a limited basis and presented at various events. 

Charles Krug’s reputation as a wine innovator and a leader in the Napa Valley is an integral part of the winery’s past. Under the leadership of Cesare’s son, Peter Mondavi Sr., Charles Krug was the first Napa Valley winery to use French Oak barrels and practice techniques such as cold fermentation and sterile filtration. More recently, the winery has committed to sustainability, with a focus on converting all family-owned vineyards to sustainable farming practices as well as the use of solar panels. As pioneers of many now-universal vineyard and cellar practices, Charles Krug helped shape the modern-day wine industry.

Charles Krug and the family have always seamlessly blended the traditional and the modern through their tasting room experiences and the wines themselves. “The history, legacy, experience, and wisdom that this family has are our strongest and most enduring attributes,” says Peter Mondavi Jr., “Experience matters. At the same time, we have to be forward thinking, youthful, and willing to experiment with our methods to stay ahead of the curve.”

With over three decades of experience as co-proprietors, Marc Mondavi and his brother Peter Jr. are now looking towards the winery’s transition to the fourth generation of ownership. Angelina, Alycia, Riana and Giovanna (Marc’s children) and Lucio and Lia (Peter Jr.’s children) are all helping to shape the future of Charles Krug. Angelina, who is also a winemaker, and Lucio are both winery board members; Riana handles national restaurant chain relationships; Giovanna works in finance and together with Lia, who is completing her college education, serve as brand ambassadors in the Boston area; finally, Alycia participates in events on-site at the winery and in the neighboring communities within the Napa Valley. Marc comments on the future of the winery under the next generation’s guidance: “One of the most important things to us is continued family ownership. We think the fourth generation’s leadership will bring diversity of knowledge and experiences which will only add to the success of the winery.”

The winery will kick off its 2018 calendar with the Charleston Wine + Food Festival (March) followed by a series of other events, including Wine Spectator’s three springtime Grand Tour tastings in Washington DC, New York, and Las Vegas. The winery will also participate in Auction Napa Valley (Angelina, Alycia, Riana and Giovanna are co-Chairing the Auction this year) with a special collaborative blend by the third and fourth generations for the barrel auction.

“It’s important for us to embrace the spirit of the winery moving forward—we want to be both a leader and active contributor to winemaking and the community here” continues Marc Mondavi, “Through our participation in Auction Napa Valley, the Napa Valley Film Festival, the Cochon Fire Heritage tour, and our partnership with the Culinary Institute of America, we are intent in solidifying our place as a cultural hub for the Napa Valley.”

For the media and trade, the winery has scheduled a series of masterclasses in Napa, New York City, and Dallas for the months of March, April, and May respectively. In each city, Peter Mondavi Jr. and other family members will present a comprehensive tasting of current and library vintages that represent pivotal moments in the winery’s history, such as the 1964, 1966 and 1974 Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, the ultimate expression of the portfolio and a tribute to the first vintage produced by the family in 1944.

Charles Krug is also set to produce a limited-release run of commemorative label 1.5L Vintage Selection magnums to celebrate the anniversary.

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