The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty by Julia Flynn Siler

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!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s