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Philanthropy news

Exhibit celebrates Robert Mondavi’s 100th birthday, unveils archived papers


Man leaning on fence with tower in background
California’s wine industry owes its success in large part to Robert Mondavi, pictured here in a vineyard at the Robert Mondavi Winery in the Napa Valley.
AvisMandel Pictures

June 18, 2013 will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Robert Mondavi, the innovative vintner, entrepreneur and philanthropist who transformed the California wine industry and elevated the prestige of U.S. wines internationally.

The University of California, Davis, which has benefited from Mondavi’s vision, partnership and generosity, is commemorating this centennial milestone with a new University Library exhibition.

The exhibition, Robert G. Mondavi: Celebrating the Good Life, is located in UC Davis’ Peter J. Shields Library outside of the library’s Department of Special Collections. It marks the unveiling of the Robert G. Mondavi Papers collection, which was donated to UC Davis in 2011 and is now ready for researchers to use in Special Collections.

The exhibit, which will be open between now and December 2013, is free and open to the public during library hours.

“Robert Mondavi’s life and legacy has made such a tremendous difference at UC Davis,” said Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. “We are pleased to present this collection to the public in honor of his 100th birthday, and to share the collection with scholars from around the world so that they might have greater insight into Mr. Mondavi’s work and life as a winemaker, business leader and philanthropist.”

Library archivists have preserved and cataloged the papers, which include extensive correspondence — some in Mondavi’s own handwriting — to and from winemakers, family members, employees of the Robert Mondavi Winery and contacts worldwide. The collection also includes photographs, biographical material, his speeches and travel files, and information on COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food, and the Arts. This archiving project was funded by the Robert G. Mondavi Trust, Mondavi’s wife, Margrit Biever Mondavi, and supporting friends.

Robert Mondavi, who died in 2008, credited UC Davis’ viticulture and enology program with equipping him to take winemaking to the next level by applying scientific principles to European craftsmanship.

As a token of his gratitude for this education, he and Margrit have generously supported many programs and initiatives at UC Davis, particularly those related to wine, food and the arts. Their generous philanthropic support was instrumental in the creation of the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, and the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art.

For more information about the exhibit, visit: .

This article was originally published by UC Davis News Service.