Marc Mondavi (Business Administration-Marketing)

Mondavi upholds wine-making heritage

Marc Mondavi

When your last name is Mondavi, wine runs in your veins. And it’s, Marc Mondavi’s job to get the rest of the country to feel the same way—particularly about the wines from his family’s Charles Krug Winery.

Napa born and raised, Mondavi returned to the area to help run Krug—the oldest winery in the Napa Valley—after taking marketing classes at Sac State.

Krug has been in the Peter Mondavi family for three generations.

At age 92, Peter Mondavi remains involved with the winery, but Marc and his brother Peter Jr. share responsibility for daily operations.

“We each have our own group of brands that we are responsible for,” Marc says. For his first 10 years, he says he spent 95 percent of his time focused on production and winemaking. Now both he and his brother focus heavily on sales and marketing, traveling frequently.

“Wine is a very personal thing. You have to sell a personality,” Mondavi says. “It’s not like there are only a half-dozen competitors. There are a million choices. And there is only so much shelf space.”

Krug alone has seven brands and produces 1.2 million cases per year of red wine, with cabernet sauvignon as its standout varietal.

“Nationally the mix is 35 percent red wine, 65 percent white. We’re 100 percent red,” Mondavi says. “It’s how we evolved, it’s how we grew.”

They’ve also learned more about the land where they grow their grapes and tailored their choices to soils and climatic conditions.

“Forty years ago we just planted what we wanted,” Mondavi says. “We didn’t look at ‘This soil will make X happen.’ Now we know.”

This article was originally published in the Spring 2007 edition of Sac State Magazine.