The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2012

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Page 97 of 132

UNDER CONSTRUCTION P eter Mondavi Jr., a member of one of the most prominent wine families in all of Napa Valley, stood before the beauti- ful Charles Krug Redwood Cellar in St. Helena on a hot summer day and talked about the past, the present and future. "This building spans three centuries," Mondavi told a gathering of family and friends. "It was built in the 19th century, rebuilt in the 20th century, and now we're heading into the 21st century." The Mondavi family, which has owned and operated the Charles Krug winery since 1943, was unveiling plans for a $6 million restoration and expansion project that is expected to take 14 months to complete. When it's finished, the 4,000-square-foot area that's now used to entertain guests will expand to an 11,000-square-foot hospitality center. Of course, the historical and archi- tectural integrity of the historic stone building, which was opened in 1872, will be preserved, but it will be renovated to meet the steadily growing needs of the winery. Continuity amid change was the theme for the day. Peter Mondavi Sr., the charming, 97-year-old patriarch of the Mondavi clan, stood before his assembled guests with a hard hat on his head, a shovel in his hand and a twinkle in his eye. "Let's complete this thing!" he cheered. "I don't want to wait forever!" Once he had succeeded in winning over the crowd, he continued a little more thoughtfully: "Let's not get too big," he said, "let's just get better." There's no doubt the hospitality area will be bigger, and it's hard not to agree that it will be better, as well. The fam- ily has brought in megastar architect Howard Backen to supervise the renova- tion. Backen has done high-profile proj- ects across the country and across town, from the Sundance Institute for Robert Redford to the Napa Valley Reserve right there in St. Helena. His plans for Charles Krug call for a 9,000-gallon redwood tank and a bird-cage style elevator as focal points in the hospitality center, plus wine lounges and an open kitchen. All this comes after a nine-year, $22-million modernization project that was completed in 2010, during which time the winery replanted 400 of its 850 prime Napa acres and brought its wine- growing techniques into the modern age. Marc Mondavi and architect Howard Backen in what will be the mezzanine of the hospitality center at Charles Krug winery. Peter Mondavi Jr. talks about the renovation plans at the Charles Krug winery. Let's not get too big; let's just get better." —Peter Mondavi Sr. september 2012 / the tasting panel / 97

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