The Quantum Pontiff

Robert Mondavi

Robert Mondavi, who helped put Napa Valley on the world wine map has passed away age 94. The most famous story about Mondavi involves a fight:

The Mondavis moved to Napa, and Cesare, Robert and Robert’s younger brother, Peter, ran the winery. But there were disagreements about how the winery should be run, and after Cesare’s death, Robert and Peter clashed. While Robert, the more flamboyant of the two brothers, pushed for better wines, Peter favored a more conservative path. One day, they ended up in a fistfight, and Robert was asked to leave the family business

So far, in making my own wine, I have yet to get in a fight with anyone, although I did have to fight to get a bung out of a carboy…


  1. #1 Carboy
    May 16, 2008

    I did have to fight to get a bung out of a carboy.

    What’s wrong with dinner and a movie? That’s all I’m sayin’.

  2. #2 JohnQPublic
    May 17, 2008

    What kind of wine and do you sell it?

  3. #3 Dave Bacon
    May 18, 2008

    It’s a Cabernet Sauvignon. For sale? I think I’d have to pay you to get you to drink it 🙂

  4. #4 Carl Brannen
    May 18, 2008

    Ah, the joys of the good old days! What goes better with dinner than a nice wine and a fist fight?

    One thing that amazes me is how the behavior of the human race seems to steadily improve itself by little bits and pieces over the decades. We’re still pretty much the same genetically right?

  5. #5 JohnQPublic
    May 19, 2008

    “I think I’d have to pay you to get you to drink it”

    Hey, I’ve been married for over 30 years. I’m up for anything that could possibly blind me! 😉

  6. #6 Bilal
    May 19, 2008

    How strange, just yesterday I was at the Robert Mondavi Center , UC Davis watching modern/interpretive dance.
    The Mondavi Center architecture is very, very impressive.

  7. #7 Mark O'Connor
    May 22, 2008

    I read an interview with Robert Mondavi some years back (he was a robust 80-something). He said he and his wife (of 50 + years) split a bottle of wine with dinner every night. If he had been a more moderate drinker he might have lived to be 100!

    You must tell us more about your oenological pursuits. I’m interested in making wine myself. And a note on carboy bungs: try those foam stoppers they use for Erlenmyer flasks. You can get them in all sizes and they can be easily sanitized (I leave mine in a 20% alcohol solution when not in use. Cheap vodka 50-50 with water.) They allow gas to escape but provide a good seal.

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