Robert Mondavi Case Review Essay

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Robert Mondavi Case Review

Robert Mondavi Corporation

Robert Mondavi began making wine in Napa Valley in 1943. He started working in the wine industry with his family. He later started his own winery in Oakville, California. Mondavi, along with his two sons, Michael and Timothy, would guide the Robert Mondavi Winery to the strong position the company enjoys today. Mondavi introduced many new techniques to the California wine industry that included cold fermentation, stainless steel tanks, and the use of small French oak barrels to age fine wine. To stimulate the consumption of fine wine, Mondavi hosted many tours and educational events. He also established the Great Chefs program; the first winery culinary program in the U.S.
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The company decided to switch from being functionally organized with senior vice presidents in charge of production, sales, marketing, finance to three distinct business units. RMW (including Coastal), Woodbridge, and Joint Ventures and Small Wineries. This helped with compensation of executives and the brand image of the product.


There were three different types of competitors that challenged Mondavi from different angles. The first type was those firms that focused on making high quality premium wines. The next type was the large volume producers that were aggressively moving into the wine industry. Finally, the third type was the global alcohol companies that were acquiring wineries to further diversify their alcoholic beverage distribution.

High Quality
The three main rivals in the area that focused on high quality wine include Kendall-Jackson, Trinchero Estates, and Southcorp. Kendall-Jackson was started in 1982 in northern California. Kendall-Jackson became a direct competitor to Mondavi because there leading bottle of wine was in the same price range. By 2001, Kendall-Jackson was making over $400 million a year. Bids were made to buy out the company in 2000, and the asking price was rumored to be between $1.5 billion and $2 billion. Michael Mondavi was quoted on the differences between the two firms:

“Our philosophy is to work

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