Robert Mondavi Winery manufactures a range of wines like the $125-a-bottle Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve for the discriminating connoisseur or the $5 Woodbridge table wine for the average American who have come to enjoy a glass or two on steak dinners. This disparity in prices reflects the profitable but unfocused approach to marketing to two distinct but demographically opposite consumer groups, which eventually undermined the wine brand's premium image, despite its commercial success among the low to mid end wine consumers. This unfortunate turn of events led the elder Mondavi to lament its success in the winery's latter years prior to its acquisition by Constellation Brands.2 The bungled marketing strategy notwithstanding, the Robert Mondavi Winery is nothing less than a stellar success, a multi-billion dollar wine brand that has done more to change the liquor-consuming game in the post prohibition America.
II. THE ROBERT MONDAVI WINERY BUSINESS MODEL
The Robert Mondavi Winery infrastructure is pretty much a relic of the old world vineyard estates albeit with a few technological modifications like state-of-the-art processing and bottling facilities that ensure consistent manufacturing quality regardless of volume. The To Kalon Vineyard, which means "the highest beauty" in Ancient Greek, is the vineyard that provides Robert Mondavi Winery with most of the grapes for its world-class Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, and Oakville District Cabernet Sauvignon and is the exclusive source of Sauvignon Blanc for the estate bottled Fum Blanc Reserve and I Block Fum Blanc.
It consists of over 550-acres, parts of which were originally planted in the middle of the 19th century, in the Oakville region. The Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville and specifically from To Kalon Vineyard has been found to be some of the finest in the Napa Valley. The other vineyard is a 400-acre Wappo Hill Vineyard in the Stag's Leap region which supplies much of the Merlot and the Sauvignon Blanc for the winery's Napa Valley Fum Blanc. 3
Fig. 1. The Robert Mondavi Winery Business Model (prior to 2004 acquisition)
The wineries, where the actual processing of the grapes are done, were located in Oakville and a little time later in Woodbridge. One unique feature of the Robert Mondavi Winery in its primary location in Oakville is the California mission-styled building designed by Cliff May. Taking inspiration from the missions along the California Coast, the building features a classic arch and bell tower that serve as a lasting tribute to the Franciscan missionaries who originally introduced wine to California.4 This edifice is also the venue for the Mondavi's great cultural showcases where the famous Mondavi Summer Music Festivals and the 40-year running Napa Valley Symphony fundraisers are held. The estate also features the fabled