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Exclusive: Andy Erickson, Thomas Rivers Brown Tapped To Help Guide Robert Mondavi Winery, Collaborate On Small-Lot Wines

November 5, 2021

Constellation Brands has created a new “technical council” that will help guide its Robert Mondavi wine brand moving forward, while honoring Robert Mondavi’s role as a Napa Valley pioneer and innovator.

The technical council’s inaugural members include Robert Mondavi Winery chief winemaker Geneviève Janssens as well as prominent Napa Valley winemakers Andy Erickson and Thomas Rivers Brown. According to Constellation, the council will employ a “think tank” approach to provide strategic guidance on winemaking, viticulture, and other brand aspects.

“We are at the genesis of an historic transformation for the Robert Mondavi Winery brand, one which we believe will elevate it to once again be the defining luxury wine leader in the Napa Valley,” said Robert Hanson, executive vice president and president, Wine & Spirits, for Constellation Brands. “The formation of the technical council is essential to this transformation.”

Among its upcoming initiatives, the council will create small-lot wines from the To Kalon Vineyard under the Robert Mondavi Winery label, starting with a collaboration on the 2019 vintage to be unveiled in the coming weeks. It will also contribute to sustainability efforts and provide input on facility innovation and development and visitor experiences, among other strategic guidance.

Robert Mondavi Winery is part of Constellation’s newly formed fine wine and craft spirits unit, along with The Prisoner Wine Company, Simi Reserve Tier, Ruffino Estates, Schrader Cellars, Double Diamond, To Kalon Vineyard Company, Mount Veeder Winery, and Booker Wines. Speaking to SND on that new unit earlier this year, Hanson laid out its goals. “Currently it’s about 12% of our business; we think it can be 25%,” he said. “We want to take a business that’s just under $300 million and have it be well over $600 million, and we’d like to do that in a relatively short period of time.”

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