M by Michael Mondavi

Michael Mondavi’s grandfather taught Michael as a boy that all great winemakers, first and foremost, have respect for their soil. Making wine from the roots up, he said, is the only way to create a truly unique wine instilled with a sense of time and place. Years later, when Michael chose the vineyard site for M, those words were not far from his mind. He named the vineyard “Animo” (“soul” in Italian) because of his belief that it clearly expressed terroir (or sense of place). This vineyard, high atop Atlas Peak at an elevation of 1,400 feet on 15 acres of rocky, volcanic soil, would carry on its terroir through the vines into the grapes and, ultimately, finish in the glass.  

Michael, with the assistance of his son Rob and Tony Coltrin, spent countless hours walking, tasting, and flagging small areas to be harvested - the end of a few rows, a circular plot in the middle of a vineyard block, even just one side of the vines in an area - in order to achieve the absolute peak of balance, ripeness, and flavor, resulting in as many as twelve different picks. The prized Crown Block, utilized for one exclusive barrel of M, is located on a small knoll in the corner of the vineyard. It may take as many as five separate harvest days to provide the perfectly ripe and balanced fruit. 




St Helena Hwy, Oakville, CA

Wine Maker

Four generations of passion and experience have come together to create the winery and our wines. It started in 1919 when Michael Mondavi's grandfather, Cesare, was elected to find grapes and winemaking supplies for families to make wine legally during Prohibition. Thus, in Lodi, California, the Mondavi family began their foray into California winemaking.  Cesare's son, Robert, joined the family wine business while in high school. In 1966, Robert and his eldest son, Michael, founded the Robert Mondavi Winery, establishing themselves as innovators in winemaking, and accomplishing their goal of bringing California wines the world recognition they deserved. Michael made wines for the first eight harvests at Robert Mondavi Winery and then later took the helm of Sales and Marketing. Known as global emissaries of California wine, Robert and Michael have dedicated their lives to creating a fine wine culture in America. The Robert Mondavi Winery went public in 1994, and Michael served as President, CEO and Chairman until he left in 2004 to start his own winery.  Today, with son Rob Mondavi, Jr. at the winemaking helm, Michael and the family craft a collection of world-class wines at the Michael Mondavi Family Estate.






St. Helena (Napa Valley)

Wines from this Winery

M M by Michael Mondavi

'M' is the flagship wine of the Michael Mondavi Family Estate portfolio, a Cabernet Sauvignon sourced exclusively from the highest elevation blocks of Animo Vineyard atop Atlas Peak. The varied exposures require exacting management and multiple picking passes to assure that the grapes are picked at ideal ripeness levels with the flavor development required to make a wine of the highest caliber.

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