After four decades of hosting receptions for visiting artists, chefs and musicians at her family’s winery, Margrit Mondavi was finally accorded her own cultural reception yesterday – for the publication of her new book, Sketchbook: Reflections on Wine, Food, Art, Family, Romance and Life.
Margrit, wife of the late Robert Mondavi, has created a collection of personal stories and sketches based on reflections about her life with Robert in the Napa Valley.
The book is written in the spirit which Margrit and Robert brought to the winery; they always believed that food, wine and the arts need to be celebrated in everyday life – and all together.
Margrit has illustrated many anecdotes in Sketchbook with her own watercolor images.
Foodwriter Janet Fletcher, who has written more than a half-dozen of her own food books, many of them award-winning, was Margrit’s co-author on Sketchbook, helping to give it structure and flow.
“We worked on Sketchbook for more than a year,” Janet told napaman, “and I kind of wished the project would never end. Margrit and I had a great time working on the project together!”
A number of close friends and family members also added to the memoir. French Laundry chef/owner Thomas Keller wrote the forward.
$10 from the sale of each book sold at yesterday’s signing was earmarked for the Napa Valley Opera House, an example of Margrit’s ongoing cultural support to the community.
Margrit and Robert Mondavi, 2005. I took this shot at the winery, on the occasion of Robert being awarded the French Legion of Honor for his lifetime work in advancing wine knowledge and appreciation.
Talk about cultural support; Margrit and Robert started the Robert Mondavi Winery Summer Concert Series in 1969 to bring first-class music to the valley and to support local musical development.
Over the Summer Concert’s 43-year history, more than $2 million in proceeds have been earmarked for local musical education and enrichment; funds have been steered to support the Napa Valley Symphony, the Napa Valley Opera House and the Napa Valley Unified School District.
Margrit Mondavi’s Sketchbook: Reflections on Wine, Food, Art, Family, Romance and Life is available for $35 on amazon.com and also at the Robert Mondavi winery.