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The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty | [Julia Flynn Siler]

The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty

Set in California's lush Napa Valley and spanning four generations of a talented and visionary family, The House of Mondavi is a tale of genius, sibling rivalry, and betrayal. From 1906, when Italian immigrant Cesare Mondavi passed through Ellis Island, to the Robert Mondavi Corporation's 21st-century battle over a billion-dollar fortune, award-winning journalist Julia Flynn Siler brings to life both the place and the people in this riveting family drama.
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Publisher's Summary

Set in California's lush Napa Valley and spanning four generations of a talented and visionary family, The House of Mondavi is a tale of genius, sibling rivalry, and betrayal. From 1906, when Italian immigrant Cesare Mondavi passed through Ellis Island, to the Robert Mondavi Corporation's 21st-century battle over a billion-dollar fortune, award-winning journalist Julia Flynn Siler brings to life both the place and the people in this riveting family drama.

The blood feuds are as spectacular as the business triumphs. Cesare's sons, Robert and Peter, literally came to blows in the 1960s during a dispute touched off by the purchase of a mink coat, resulting in Robert's exile from the family - and his subsequent founding of a winery that would set off a revolution in American winemaking. Robert's sons, Michael and Timothy, as passionate in their own ways as their visionary father, waged battles with each other for control of the company before Michael's expansive ambitions ultimately led to a board coup and the sale of the business to an international conglomerate.

A meticulously reported narrative based on thousands of hours of interviews, The House of Mondavi is bound to become a classic.

©2007 Julia Flynn Siler; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The House of Mondavi's cast rivals that of the 1980s wine-country melodrama Falcon Crest, with episodes of sex, violence, greed, envy, nepotism, and betrayal...[and] a King Lear-like storyline." (Wine Spectator Online)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    John United States 12-19-11
    John United States 12-19-11
    ratings
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    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A very interesting informative book Mondavis"
    What made the experience of listening to The House of Mondavi the most enjoyable?

    It is very well researched and written


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The House of Mondavi?

    The court decision in the lawsuit between Robert and the rest of the family


    Any additional comments?

    I was a shareholder in the company until it was sold and there were a lot of things that only now make sense to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    02-05-10
    02-05-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really good and interesting"

    I debated whether or not to get this and am so glad I did. It proves that sometimes life is more interesting than fiction. I have a new found respect for the wine business.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine Seattle, WA, USA 04-17-09
    Catherine Seattle, WA, USA 04-17-09
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    "Such Promise"

    This book showed great promise, but the reader was so poor that I couldn't finish it. A reader should at least know how to pronounce the crucial place names, as well as the state of Oregon.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa chicago, IL, USA 01-17-09
    Lisa chicago, IL, USA 01-17-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wine or whine"

    Anyone interested in the wine industry would find this book interesting. However, the length at which the author goes on and on at times is tedious at best and leaves the listener wondering why certain details made it into the book. I was questioning the editing quite often. It is clear the author did a tremendous amount of research in writing this book and seems to be determined to fit in everything she could just so her research efforts didn't got to waste. Additionally, the book is written chronologically but still manages to skip around through time which breaks up the fluidity that should accompany a book dealing with fine wine production.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Colebrook, NH, United States 01-16-10
    Linda Colebrook, NH, United States 01-16-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The House of Mondavi"

    It started out, in the first book, as very interesting although the reader needs more experience. Then it became repetitive and boring. I didn't end up finishing the story although I would have liked to have heard the ending but I just couldn't go on. Linda

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Milton Fife Washington state 08-02-07
    Milton Fife Washington state 08-02-07 Listener Since 2005

    Babu

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Haughty Narrator"

    This fellow Sklar seems very impressed with himself and how he pronounces french words with a faue french accent, but he butchers the name of the town, St. Helena, which central to the story. This shows a lacks professionalism in my opinion, not getting the pronounciations correct.

    0 of 7 people found this review helpful
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