Robert Mondavi Winery was founded in 1966 by winemaking pioneer Robert Mondavi, whose vision was to create Napa Valley wines that could stand in the company of the world’s finest. It was the first major winery built in Napa Valley in the three decades following the repeal of Prohibition, Robert Mondavi Winery created the foundation for the modern-day California wine industry. Today, Robert Mondavi Winery continues to pursue the fullest expression of Napa Valley terroir in wines that are also varietally authentic. Mondavi chose to situate his estate next to To Kalon Vineyard, one of the most coveted wine growing parcels in the world, known for producing award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon and for its Sauvignon Blanc.
One of the first goals Robert Mondavi set for himself was recreating Sauvignon Blanc, which was, at the time a sweet, unnuanced wine. He sought inspiration in Loire Valley Pouilly Fumé, enlivening it with a uniquely California profile. He named the delightfully rich and refined yet bright, fresh wine he created Fumé Blanc. It’s Sauvignon Blanc, plus so much more. Released in 1968, Fumé Blanc remains Mr. Mondavi’s signature and one of Robert Mondavi Winery’s most popular wines.
This wine is a true expression of our To Kalon Vineyard’s historic Robert’s Block, the renamed T Block first planted in 1960. When Robert Mondavi chose the To Kalon Vineyard as the home for his new winery in 1966 he remarked: “It was a vineyard with a distinguished history and a magical nature. Ideal soils, sunlight, and rain—to my eye, the vineyard was a treasure.” Situated on prime benchland in west Oakville, the low fertility, well-drained soils combine with optimal sun exposure to yield rich, complex flavors and peak fruit maturity. The dry farmed, head-trained, cane-pruned vines on Robert’s Block offer purity of varietal expression, great concentration and depth of flavor. A small amount of fruit was selected from the equally historic I Block, for its key contribution of minerality, length and elegance. A handful, about 5%, of Sémillon is blended in, adding extra oomph and flavor, the finish balanced in acidity and marked by freshness.