Wine Icon Would Have Been 100, Family Celebrates with Ice Cream

Staff Writer
The Mondavi Winery celebrates the 100th birthday of Robert Mondavi with a lemon verbana ice cream (and wine pairing)

Courtesy of Robert Mondavi Winery

Winemaker Robert Mondavi, who would have turned 100 this June, passed away in 2008.

Who doesn’t like wine — and ice cream — on his or her birthday? In honor of what would have been Robert Mondavi’s 100th birthday, make this lemon verbena ice cream, complete with a wine pairing, from the Robert Mondavi Winery.

June 18 marks what would have been Robert Mondavi’s 100th birthday, and what better way to celebrate a wine icon than with a wine-and-ice-cream recipe? Before you dig in, here’s a little background: Robert Mondavi was an icon in the American wine industry, opening his eponymous winery in Napa Valley in 1966 — the first after Prohibition — and is widely regarded today as the father of the California wine industry. Although he passed on in 2008 at age 94, Mondavi’s legacy continues in the wine world today.

"Robert contributed enormously, because of his passion, his belief in the Valley," says his widow, Margrit Mondavi. "In the 1960s, the valley was still kind of laid-back. I think there were 17,000 acres of grapes, today there are 43,000. It actually didn’t have a paved road. Much of the Valley was for sale. It was still sort of recuperating from Phylloxera, depression, from the war and all that. And many people didn’t believe in it, but he went for it, built a new winery, the first new winery since Prohibition. And I guess then people followed too."

This June, raise a glass to the father of California wine with this celebratory lemon verbena ice cream recipe — complete with wine pairing — courtesy of Jeff Mosher, winery chef at Robert Mondavi Winery.

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