Mondavi Italian Winery Name???

There used to be a wnry up on the OakvilleGrade that was owned (I believe) by Robert Mondavi and
specialized in Italian varietals. Winemaker was Michael Weiss.
I’m having trouble recalling the name of that wnry. Google doesn’t pick it up.
Can anybody help me out here.

Tom, I believe that was the old Vichon Winery renamed La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi.

Thanks, Richard. Vichon was the name I was trying to recall. Then it was purchased by Mondavi.

Yes, I recall La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi. They produced a Barbera and a Moscato if I recall correctly.

It is where Harlan’s new Promontory winery is being built.

I immediately was reminded of the Mondavi/Frescobaldi partnership that produced Luce. I attended the kickoff dinner in San Francisco in 97 or so. I hadn’t even thought about it again until just now.

Hey Tom!!
I may know just a wee bit about this subject :wink:

Vichon was indeed the winery on the Grade where Promontory now resides. Started by George Vierra and partners in the late 70s I believe, then purchased by the Mondavis int he early '80s. SB, Semillon, Cabernet, Chevrignon, Estate Red, Merlot, etc. Not Italian varieties at that point.

They rethought/rebranded and moved the Vichon brand/production to southern France in the mid 90s, then eventually sold it to their Languedoc partner in the early 2000s. What brick and mortar had been Vichon then became La Famiglia and that facility was sold in 2001 and La Famiglia production moved elsewhere. It became Diamond Oaks, which fizzled out and the Harlans purchased the property.

My dad still raves about the Malbec that property produced and I still pick up old bottles of Vichon on WineBid for attractive prices. They make pretty cool birthday/Xmas gifts for my old man and many are holding up really well!

I picked up a 1980 Vichon “Fay Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon on Winebid a while back as it is a birth year wine for my wife!

Well…doh, Nate…I never thought to put your name & Michael’s name together.
I first met Michael yrs ago at Vichon. A good friend of mine (Dick Blazer) from LosAlamos had become
his asst winemaker there at Vichon, after he bailed (was fired by Cary Gott, I believe) from Sterling w/ the management
change. Dick recounted how, under new management at Sterling, they had 5-6 cs of a fantastic (to my taste) Botrytis
Chenin Blanc that they sent off to the dump because they didn’t know what to do with it. Whatta a stupid waste.
Anyway, it was at Vichon that I met your Dad.
And then it was yrs later (20?) when I met you (and Glen Salva) up at Atlas Peak. If you recall, I soundly scolded you
over your decision to pull that last block of Refosco (now known to be Mondeuse). Bonehead move, methinks.
The last production of that Mondeuse that Darrell took in its entirety is still doing fantastic.
I need to visit you in your new digs sometime.

I recall those Vichon wines as not being particularly extracted/intense/dramatic. But they were always very balanced & well-made.
Not surprised many of them are holding up well.


I only knew of Vichon as an $8/btl of VdP plonk. I never heard of such a bottling!

Are you serious!?!

Oh, well, I guess you WERE serious!

LOL, Tom. I don’t recall it as a sound scolding necessarily. Perhaps your soft-hearted delivery. I will be sure to mention that feedback to Piero Antinori next time I see him! He will no doubt send an apology letter to you.

I think at least a couple of the original Vichon partners were somms, and it was definitely one of the early leaders of the charge towards “food wines”…a movement that sometimes took things too far, but of course was a harbinger of style wars to come in many ways.

Yup, Nate…for some reason I always associated Vichon w/ “food wines”. And how well that style of wine played in Monktown!! [snort.gif]

Speaking of Vichon and Monktown… (oh how the times they have changed)

RIP Vichon, one of the seminal wines of my early Napa touring days of the early 1990s. What a beautiful spot and terrific balanced wines! All downhill after the La Famiglia changeover in the mid-90s. Some beautiful late-afternoon tastings, followed by a late afternoon jaunt over Oakville grade.

The Vichon plonk French VdP was a horrible re-use of the name. A bit of the original Vichon lives on at Groth with Michael Weis the winemaker.