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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.

Critic Reviews

" 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)

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  • Overall
  • Lisa
  • chicago, IL, USA
  • 01-17-09

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.

  • Overall

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