Harvests of Joy : My Passion for Excellence — How the Good Life Became Great Business|
Robert Mondavi with Paul Chutkow
From The Publisher:
In 1965, after a notorious family feud, Robert Mondavi-then fifty-two years old-was thrown out of his family's winery. Far from defeated, Mondavi was dedicated to a vision of creating a superior wine. What has happened since that fateful day is one of the greatest success stories of American business. Today, the Robert Mondavi Winery is one of the most respected in the world, and Mondavi is the man who is most responsible for the worldwide recognition of American wine making, as well as changing America's palate for fine wine and fine food. In Harvests of Joy, Mondavi shares how, through his passion for excellence, he achieved this extraordinary position, one he reached not without pain and sacrifice. With invaluable insider tips on his approach to both wine making and to running a business, Mondavi's inspirational story is "a grand example of the fact that in America you can pretty much be, do, or accomplish, whatever you set out to." (Ventura County Star)
A living legend regarded as the California wine industry's foremost ambassador, Mondavi reveals the secrets behind his success and talks candidly about his personal approach to winemaking and running a family business. From the perspective of age and time, he outlines his basic tenets on love, family, and work against the backdrop of his dramatic life story. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
No one else in California has done so much for its wine industry's renown as Robert Mondavi. In his autobiography, he recounts his upbringing in Minnesota, where his miner-turned-saloon-keeper father taught him to appreciate his Italian heritage, especially the joys of wine. Prohibition provided the impetus for a family move to California, and Mondavi's father took up grape wholesaling. The young Mondavi entered the families nascent wine business and began his quest for the best. Mondavi recounts the ups and downs of the route to his goal, which culminated in his alliance with noted French vintner Rothschild to produce the famous Opus One. Mondavi's family battles, played out I the press, culminated in the breakup of his marriage. His autobiography will be rich source material for a comprehensive history of the moguls who created California's wine industry. - Booklist
From Publisher's Weekly:
In 1965, Mondavi and his brother were doing well running the Charles Krug Winery, which his family had bought some 20 years before. He was 52, hardly the age to start grand schemes such as an entirely new winery; and by his own admission, he's something of a monomaniac, which obviously helped him to establish Robert Mondavi Vineyards, a powerful and revolutionary force in the American wine industry. This book is a fascinating blend of autobiography and the story of how a nascent winery became a formidable challenger to the greatest names in wine-making the world over. It assuredly has a place in the Mondavi marketing strategy of educating potential customers about wine. Mondavi also fashions himself a homespun Peter Drucker, dispensing advice on achieving excellence and management success. Despite occasional efforts to acknowledge his overpowering ego, Mondavi is portrayed as a thoroughly driven, egocentric individual who has destroyed much on his road to success. Yet the descriptions of his parents and their immigrant life, the transformation of Napa Valley from sleepy backwater to tourist and boutique winery haven, his relations with many celebrated names in wine and the insider track on 50 years of the American wine business are well worth reading. Regardless of one's feelings toward the man, one cannot help admiring his dogged determination—starting anew at an age when many are retreating into retirement—and his perennial willingness to experiment, take risks and also to share the fruits of his success.
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