Online ‘toast’ to late wine-making legend Robert Mondavi

Vintners in California’s renowned Napa Valley on Monday, May 19, 2008, launched an Internet tribute to pioneering US winemaker Robert Mondavi, who died three days earlier in his home in the region.

The Napa Valley Vintners Association created an online “toast” to Mondavi on its website at www.napavintners.com, inviting people to share their memories of the icon in words and pictures.

The website memorial comes as the vintners association readies for the Friday start of an online “E-Auction” of prestigious wines as part of an annual event to raise money for Napa Valley charities.

Who among us in the wine business cannot thank Mr. Mondavi for advancing his or her career?

Although I only worked for five months at Robert Mondavi Winery as a puddle jump to becoming a publicist, the mere fact that I was chosen to work at RMW, as a wine educator, shot my credentials through the roof… It was a fast forward that no other association could have possibly given to me.

At one of the Mondavi events, I couldn’t resist appealing to his playful side. Everyone was meeting Robert with hand shakes, and I bent down so only he could hear, and whispered in his ear, “I came for the kiss,” to which he immediately kissed my cheek.

Mr. Mondavi made the world a better place for us all, and is going to be dearly missed.

This is my personal tribute to a wine legend that’s touched my heart and enriched my life.

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