Asheville – Please join The Asheville School of Wine @MetroWines to meet Alycia and Riana Mondavi. Wines from ALOFT by Marc Mondavi and Family as well as Charles Krug will be “on the taste” and “on the house” on Wednesday, April 19th from 5 to 6:30 @MetroWines.
“This is a unique opportunity to meet members of the legendary family that changed winemaking in America forever,” says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. “And if you haven’t tasted a Mondavi made wine lately, you haven’t tasted Mondavi wine!”
About Alycia and Riana Mondavi based on a story in The Napa Valley Register:
Alycia is general manager of Aloft, a premium Howell Mountain cabernet sauvignon distinct from Charles Krug wines. Riana is northern sales manager for C. Mondavi and Family, the family brand that owns Charles Krug and CK Mondavi as well as CR Cellars and Purple Heart. Both, along with two other sisters, are partners in Dark Matter Wines, unusual, long-aged wines made from their immediate family’s vineyards.
Alycia and Riana are fourth generation Mondavis in the wine business in Napa Valley. Their great-grandparents were Italian immigrants Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, who bought Charles Krug in 1943. Cesare and Rosa’s sons, Robert Mondavi and Peter Mondavi Sr., were brothers.
It’s no surprise that the sisters ended up working in wine. They received their first paychecks for 25 cents an hour, starting when they were 10, as apprentices working around the winery cleaning tanks, soaking bottles, pulling samples, routing hoses, and even running analyses under the direction of Grandpa Peter, father Marc and Uncle Pete. They also worked in the hospitality center.
At that age, they probably weren’t really aware of what would become the family legacy. The Charles Krug winery is the oldest still-extant winery in Napa Valley and remains one of the largest family-owned wineries in the valley and one with a reputation for innovation.
The Mondavi family has a rule that everyone has to work somewhere else for at least two years before joining the family business. Riana worked in sales and Alycia in marketing.
About Alycia Mondavi
Alycia Mondavi, 31, graduated from the University of San Diego with degrees in marketing and management in 2007. She earned her paralegal certificate in 2008 and worked in a law firm in Napa Valley. She considered becoming a lawyer before choosing wine, but that legal experience has proven useful as she pursued her wine career.
Alycia also worked as an assistant to marketing consultant Kathy Simpson at Cognoscente Fine Wine Marketing helping clients promote their ultra-premium wines. “This helped me get my hands around cult wines,” said Alycia. In 2012, she joined C. Mondavi & Family, managing the family’s high-end brand Aloft.
In addition to her full-time job with her family’s company, she oversees the marketing and customer relations for Dark Matter Wines. She has also started working with Kathy Simpson in marketing consulting again.
About Riana Mondavi
Riana Mondavi, 28, manages Northern California regional sales for the family’s portfolio.
She developed a passion for food and traveling during high school, but she decided to try her hand in wine sales only after she graduated from Villanova University Business School in 2009. “That was a terrible year to look for a job, as the market had just crashed,” says Riana. Fortunately, she was hired as a wines sales associate in Miami for Southern Wine & Spirits, the country’s largest wine and spirits distributor.
Riana was assigned to on-premise sales in one of the most aggressive sales territories in the country. “They just sort of threw you to the wolves to learn the business,” said Riana, but admits that it was fun. “I couldn’t do the job I do now without that experience.”
After spending two years learning wine sales, she joined her family’s business as northwest regional sales manager for C. Mondavi & Family in Seattle in January 2011. Riana moved closer to home in fall 2014 and manages Northern California regional sales for the family’s portfolio and also oversees sales and brand management for Dark Matter Wines.
About Dark Matter Wine
Another Mondavi sister, Angelina, worked with winemaker Jayson Woodbridge to create the first vintage of Dark Matter Howell Mountain zinfandel from 2 acres of their parent’s vineyard in 2006. Under the tutelage of their father, Marc Mondavi, the four sisters launched the wine from 2 acres of their parents vineyard in 2012.
About Aloft Wine
After a soft 2008 release, Marc Mondavi relaunched 2009 Aloft cabernet with 100 cases in 2011. Thomas Brown now makes 300-400 cases of the pure cabernet from the pick of Marc Mondavi’s 25 acres of vineyards on Howell Mountain. The wine is not made at Charles Krug, although the family owns the brand.
About The Mondavis:
The Mondavi family is known for strong opinions and disagreements, but the sisters seem to have overcome that background. “Sometimes we do argue and yell, but then it’s all over, and we move on,” said Alycia, adding that their mom often gets involved when they disagree. Riana agrees. “We can come to agreement,” she said.
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