As many of you know, legendary winemaker and benefactor Robert Mondavi died last Friday. The Mondavis have been called the "Kennedys" of American wine. They transformed Napa Valley from a small, family-owned network of wine producers into the huge hub it is today, helping to establish America as one of the world's great wine producers. Mondavi and his wife have spent the past several years donating to and building up various wine schools and performing arts instututes.
It feels a bit timely, then, that Julia Flynn Siler's biography of this family and its business, The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty
, has just been released in paperback. This book is considered both a family saga and a dramatic tale of America's foothold in a competitive global industry.