Katie's Reviews > The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty

The House of Mondavi by Julia Flynn Siler
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's review
Nov 15, 2007

it was amazing
Read in September, 2007

This is a fascinating history of the most famous (and infamous) American wine dynasty, the Mondavis, and the rise and fall of their empire. The book spans 4 generations, and is divided into four parts: Foundation, Construction, Expansion, and the stunning finale, Demolition. The meticulously researched text reads like a Greek tragedy; the reader can see disaster looming, however the characters are unable to control the events from unfolding. Siler weaves an epic tale of ambition and hubris, rage and betrayal, pride and lust, extreme success and ultimate heartbreak. She systematically reveals the sibling rivalries, infighting, and unwise business decisions that led to the family's magnificent failure. I was amazed to learn of the enormous impact that the icon and visionary, Robert Mondavi, had on the acceptance of wine, California production, and American culture in general. He was responsible, more than any other individal, for giving the maligned American wine industry the worldwide respect it now enjoys. This is a must read for those interested in business, the world of winemaking, and biographies.
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