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Mondavi to Sell Napa Vineyards, Opus One


Mulcahy
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From the Napa Valley Register

:shock:

I knew there were changes afoot, but this?!?

Can someone explain to me why they would keep Woodbridge and dump Opus One?

From a corporate standpoint I would say that Woodbridge is where the money is.

"The company said it would not speculate on whether members of the family might make a run at the part of the company that will deal in high-end wines. It also said original owners and joint venture partners -- such as Richard Arrowood at Arrowood Vineyards or the Rothschilds at Opus One -- have rights of first refusal on repurchasing those operations under certain conditions."

I'm guessing the Mondavi family and partners will buy Opus One, along with the vineyards in the Stags Leap and Carneros appellations.

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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Added note... When I had just moved here and was desperately unemployed, looking for work, I interviewed to the be Executive Assistant to whomever it was that had just got hired by the Mondavi Corp to head the Woodbridge Division.

Am I ever glad I didn't get THAT job (especially after going through NINE interviews over there)!!!!

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As a distributor of RM Family of Wines in NJ, the thoughts around the office today are that RM and his family will buy back the Napa Winery and Opus and possibly some key vineyards (ToKalon, Stags Leap and Carneros) and keep them in the family. Sell the rest and get back to their core business.

Its gonna be interesting to watch over the next few months, eh?

Phil

I have never met a miserly wine lover
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"Lifestyle wines"? "Luxury wines"?

"Lifestyle wines"???

Is this some weird Mondavi PR corporatespeak, or is it some common label I've been fortunate enough never to have heard before now?

:angry: (Where's the nauseated smilie when I need it)

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Lifestyle wines"?  "Luxury wines"? 

"Lifestyle wines"???

Is this some weird Mondavi PR corporatespeak, or is it some common label I've been fortunate enough never to have heard before now?

:angry: (Where's the nauseated smilie when I need it)

Are you saying Charles Shaw isn't a lifestyle?

:laugh:

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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Added note... When I had just moved here and was desperately unemployed, looking for work, I interviewed to the be Executive Assistant to whomever it was that had just got hired by the Mondavi Corp to head the Woodbridge Division.

Am I ever glad I didn't get THAT job (especially after going through NINE interviews over there)!!!!

I spent 14 years there, the last two as assistant to Tim. The stories I could tell....except I signed something when I left... :biggrin:

Before the IPO, it was the best place I'd ever worked. Hopefully I can't be sued for saying that much. And WB was known as the cash cow.

cmv

Edited by cmvnapa (log)
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I spent 14 years there, the last two as assistant to Tim.  The stories I could tell....except I signed something when I left... :biggrin:

Before the IPO, it was the best place I'd ever worked.  Hopefully I can't be sued for saying that much.  And WB was known as the cash cow.

cmv

I'd think the Woodbridge would be the Cash Mastodon! Between being the "house" wine at several national chains and every caterers favorite cheap 1.5L choice for parties, the oceans of Woodbridge always have a place to go.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Clearly, they're more interested in making money than making wine. I'm sure they deserve it for all they've done. Now that they're cashing out, we can look to the next generation of pioneers.

Does anybody else find the phrase "quality premium and super-premium lifestyle wines" as loathsome as I do? Just saying the phrase makes my mouth feel as though it's been rinsed by a large glass of corked plonk.

Any emotional attachment to a company that would issue a press release like the one Mondavi issued -- though I have fond memories from years back, and quaffed some Woodbridge just the other weekend -- are misplaced. One hopes that something real will emerge from the spinoffs.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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If I were a Mondavi and tired of playing the corporate game, this is exactly what I would do. Cash out and let the Marketing/Finance weenies take the plonk side of the business and go to bat against the other multinational conglomerates. Take my money and get the cool side of the business (e.g., Opus One). And take that private. And do whatever the heck I want with it to make wines I like. Without needing to meet Wall St. earnings expectations and coming up with products I hate putting my name on.

Hope that's what they are doing. If so, they must be happy people who have had a burden lifted from them. The wines with the Mondavi name on it will only get better.

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While I HOPE desparately that the Mondavi Family can buy the assets for sale, the estimated price tag is $400 MILLION, and the financial community is not sure they can raise it. Also, there are several interested corporations with VERY deep pockets who will also bid against them, including Constellation Brands (the world's largest wine company).

If they Mondavi family cannot, I for one will be very sad to see the end of that era. I have had the genuine pleasure of dealing with Mondavi for years now, and been the fortunate guest of their incredible hospitality in Napa and most fortunate to have met and dined with Robert M. several times. I can honestly say that they were always wonderful people, who treat their employees and business relations alike AS family.

Rob

"When I lived in Paris, and champagne was relatively cheap, I always enjoyed a half-bottle in the middle of the morning and another half-bottle at six or so in the evening. It did me a tremendous amount of good." - Gerald Hamilton.
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  • 1 month later...

1.3 billion offered for Mondavi.

Robert Mondavi Corp. stock shot up 30 percent Tuesday morning on the news that spirits giant Constellation Brands is the unsolicited bidder for the winemaker, making an offer that is worth an estimated $1.3 billion.

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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I've read quite a few articles about the recent development at Mondavi, but I still don't know the reason for they troubles. A shipload of debts, I presume?

Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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I was discussing this with someone last week and their view was that it came down to the shareholders. As soon as you float yourself, you loose control over the property. The Mondavi family may well have wanted not to sell but as the shareholders saw dollars raining down from the sky............

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1.3 billion offered for Mondavi.

Robert Mondavi Corp. stock shot up 30 percent Tuesday morning on the news that spirits giant Constellation Brands is the unsolicited bidder for the winemaker, making an offer that is worth an estimated $1.3 billion.

The Board of Directors refused the offer. Stockholders I spoke with yesterday, including employees, are shaking their heads in disbelief, and keeping their fingers crossed.

_____________________

Mary Baker

Solid Communications

Find me on Facebook

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I spent 14 years there, the last two as assistant to Tim.  The stories I could tell....except I signed something when I left... :biggrin:

Before the IPO, it was the best place I'd ever worked.

cmv

You must know my aunt Judi...she worked in the retail shop ...lives in Hawaii now?

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Before the IPO, it was the best place I'd ever worked.  Hopefully I can't be sued for saying that much.  And WB was known as the cash cow.

i imagine the cash cow days were before the Australians (to say nothing of Senor Shaw) undercut the old parameters of the value market. not saying there isn't money to be made off Woodbridge nowadays, but it seems like the value-wine sector is rather crowded, especially for a company that intends to hack off its luxury division.

on the lifestyle/luxury terminology lambasted above, i don't think it's Mondavi alone using it. these are terms that seem to be making inroads throughout the industry, for better or worse. sounds like Orwellian mumblespeak to me, though i do see their point. no one wants to feel like a rube for drinking $8 merlot.

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I spent 14 years there, the last two as assistant to Tim.  The stories I could tell....except I signed something when I left... :biggrin:

Before the IPO, it was the best place I'd ever worked.

cmv

You must know my aunt Judi...she worked in the retail shop ...lives in Hawaii now?

Yes, I knew your aunt Judi when I worked there - very sweet woman. Her husband and my then-husband were both involved with the Napa chapter of Native Sons of the Golden West.

In re Woodbridge being the cash cow, this was during the "Bob Red" and "Bob White" heydays.

And now, the lawsuits are flying.

http://www.napanews.com/templates/index.cf...70-2F9F1E1B732A

http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/041021/074671.html

Edited by cmvnapa (log)
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:wacko:

Charles Shaw is definitely a lifestyle wine, a lowlife style.

That's cruel! There is a little room for "lifestlye" in everyone's life - but just little. :biggrin:

Why are we bringing up cheap Franzia wines (Charles Shaw, owned by Bronco Inc who makes Franzia (its the same stuff, just in a bottle)) when we are discussing the Robert Mondavi winery's board of directors discission to sell off its expensive, non-profitable lines like Opus One, and keep its low priced cash WHALES like Woodbridge and Private Selection?

From what I have read, it seems that the winery board of directors attempted to over-extend and exploit the cultish popularity of some of its high end wines that were really hard to find and decided to increase availibility by raising production and actually producing a less spectacular product that isn't really worth the price they were charging -- the sausage game once again, raising quantity at the expense of quality. By forcing the vineyard where they produced Opus to produce more grapes, they lower the overall quality of the yield which creates a poorer wine. Now instead of fighting to find a bottle of Opus One, no one will touch it, because it isn't as special, rare, or of as high-quality as it used to be, and definitely not worth the money they charge for it.

They attempted to exploit a good product for increased income and it backfired. Now they can't sell the wines and can't afford to make them anymore, so they dump the lines and hopefully someone else who can afford to recreate the high-quality product can take it over and get it back to where it once was, even if it be Peter Mondavi (Robert's son); who has upon the decision, quit the board of directors at Mondavi.

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