Our family has tended vineyards in California’s Napa Valley for four generations. In 1999, we purchased the Animo vineyard in Atlas Peak, marking the first chapter of the Michael Mondavi Family Estate.
We pride ourselves on creating a family-owned, heritage driven portfolio of small-production, artisanal wines. While Cabernet Sauvignon is at our core, we take a thoughtful approach on crafting wines from several varietals, including Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
In keeping with Mondavi family traditions, farming of the Michael Mondavi Family Estate vineyards adhere to sustainable and organic standards. The family believes that the best grapes come from the best vineyards and endeavors to maintain the health of the Napa Valley ecosystem for future generations. All vineyards are farmed sustainably and our estate vineyards are certified Napa Green.
The Oso Vineyard: Oso Vineyard is named for the California Black Bear that frequents the vineyard and feasts on the ripening grapes. The 95-acre Oso Vineyard, located between Howell Mountain and Sugarloaf on the east side of Napa Valley was purchased by the Michael Mondavi family in 2006. At the top of the hill, the fruit is exposed to gusty mountain winds that blow through the vineyard rows and keep the grapes cool.
The Animo Vineyard: Seeking vineyards that would form the foundation of his family estate, Michael Mondavi zeroed-in on a particularly rugged, Manzanita-dotted parcel high on Atlas Peak in the Vaca Mountain range of southeastern Napa Valley. As Michael surveyed the site with his family, his daughter Dina remarked, "Dad, this place has animo." Animo is an Italian word for heart or spirit. In the family's experience, some vineyards have it, and some don't - a pervading spirit that presents the opportunity of producing something that is truly exceptional. Michael Mondavi sensed the potential of Animo at first sight, and the continually developing wines that are produced here have spirit to spare. The Animo Vineyard is planted to a mere 15 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon vines in a relatively uniform rocky volcanic soil infused with red streaks of iron. The vines climb from an elevation of 1,270 to 1,350 feet on the slope of Atlas Peak, overlooking Napa Valley. At this elevation, the grapes enjoy a protracted growing season, and harvest generally extends well into October. Variations in elevation and sun exposure require numerous picking passes at harvest time. The attention paid to each individual vine is reflected in the quality of the finished wine.
Heritage Block: In 2006, Michael Mondavi Family Estate acquired Sauvignon Blanc vine cuttings from Oakville’s To Kalon Vineyard, which is thought to be the oldest surviving Sauvignon Blanc material in North America. The original vines trace their lineage directly to Château d’Yquem, arriving in California in the 1880’s through Charles Wetmore who was the head of the California State Viticultural Commission at the time. When the new vineyard was planted, Michael Mondavi Family Estate selected the same rootstock and trellising used in the 19th century to further preserve the historical method of grape growing and the remarkable living history of the plant genetics.