The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty

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9781592402595: The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty

An epic, scandal-plagued story of the immigrant family that built—and then spectacularly lost—a global wine empire

Set in California’s lush Napa Valley and spanning four generations of a talented and visionary family, The House of Mondavi is a tale of genius, sibling rivalry, and betrayal. From 1906, when Italian immigrant Cesare Mondavi passed through Ellis Island, to the Robert Mondavi Corp.’s twenty-first-century battle over a billion-dollar fortune, award-winning journalist Julia Flynn brings to life both the place and the people in this riveting family drama.

The blood feuds are as spectacular as the business triumphs. Cesare’s sons, Robert and Peter, literally came to blows in the 1960s during a dispute touched off by the purchase of a mink coat, resulting in Robert’s exile from the family—and his subsequent founding of a winery that would set off a revolution in American winemaking. Robert’s sons, Michael and Timothy, as passionate in their own ways as their visionary father, waged battle with each other for control of the company before Michael’s expansive ambitions ultimately led to a board coup and the sale of the business to an international conglomerate.

A meticulously reported narrative based on thousands of hours of interviews, The House of Mondavi is bound to become a classic.

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About the Author:

Julia Flynn writes front-page stories for The Wall Street Journal from San Francisco, reporting extensively on the recent turbulence at the Robert Mondavi Corp. She was a London-based foreign correspondent for the Journal and BusinessWeek, and has written for The New York Times. She is a graduate of Brown University and ColumbiaÂ’s Graduate School of Journalism.

From AudioFile:

How did a family business, a billion-dollar enterprise such as the House of Mondavi, find itself open to a hostile takeover? Was it hubris, bad financial management, or a bit of both? Listening to Alan Sklar is always worthwhile, but with a story this fraught with biblical dimensions and Elizabethan complexities, he absolutely enthralls. Even with ambition, sibling rivalry, betrayal, and exile as staples of the story, Sklar doesnt overdramatize. His sensitive narration does more than air the familys wine-spotted linens in public. Thanks to Silers meticulous research, through interviews with all principal family members, court documents, and depositions, and Sklars vibrant performance, the story doesnt deteriorate into a soap opera. Instead it offers fascinating insights into a dysfunctional family and the wine-growing industry in Napa. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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