Since my local library does not carry Robert Mondavi’s 1998 autobiography Harvests of Joy: How the Good Life Became Great Business, I read The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty by Julia Flynn Siler (published in 2007) instead.
The story of the Mondavis is quite captivating. The competitiveness of the brothers (Peter and Robert, and then Michael and Timothy) and the resulting heartbreak and destruction of the family businesses felt like a soap opera.
Overall, I was satisfied with the book though I wish Siler had written more about Peter Mondavi after the split with Robert Mondavi. I would have also liked to have learned more about Charles Krug and other vinters — even the Franzia Brothers and their success with Charles Shaw / “Two Buck Chuck.”
Also, I was expecting to learn about wine from this book and while it does teach readers a bit about the process (barreling, pomace, etc.) it really focuses almost exclusively on Robert Mondavi’s rise to power and subsequent sale to Constellation Brands.
Still, definitely worth reading for those interested in learning about Napa Valley wine history!