The SOMM Journal

June / July 2015

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Page 84 of 100

84 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2015 { wine science } W ater dowser, water diviner, water witch. Call him what you will, but Marc Mondavi—son of Peter Mondavi Sr. and co-proprietor (along with his brother Peter Jr.) of Napa Valley's historic Charles Krug Winery—may as well be called the Patron Saint of Water. The drought in California keeps business booming for Mondavi, as more and more people struggle to find good, sustaining water sources on their property in a time where water is almost more valuable than gold. After years of practice, Mondavi is able to walk along a piece of property with his copper divining rods and figure out exactly where a possible water source is located, how far below the surface the water is flowing and how much water is there. His special abilities even inspired the creation of a wine label: The Divining Rod (see sidebar on p. 87). Is there any scientific evidence for "water witching"? Most research on the subject says no—in fact, several widely known studies found that water diviners were no better able to predict where an underground water Simply DIVINE MARC MONDAVI'S ABILITY TO DOWSE FOR WATER INSPIRES MUCH SCIENTIFIC SPECULATION— AND A NEW LINE OF WINES by Becca Yeamans-Irwin / photos by Alexander Rubin "Water witch" Marc Mondavi with his dowsing rods in the barrel room at his family's winery in Napa Valley.

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