Wine Stars: Tim and Carissa Mondavi of Continuum

Part of Napa Valley’s legendary winemaking family is now on Pritchard Hill, making Cabernet blends with finesse

Wine Stars: Tim and Carissa Mondavi of Continuum
Continuum Estate's father-daughter team of Tim and Carissa Mondavi are 2019 Wine Experience Wine Stars. (Rick Wenner)
Oct 21, 2019

“If you’re not familiar with the Mondavi name, you’re probably in the wrong room,” Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth joked while introducing veteran winemaker Tim Mondavi and his daughter Carissa at the Wine Experience.

Tim Mondavi represents the third generation of the Mondavi winemaking family in California’s Napa Valley. His grandfather Cesare Mondavi started selling wine grapes in 1919 and bought Charles Krug Winery in 1943. His father Robert founded his namesake winery in 1966, where Tim made his first vintage in 1974. Tim played a key role in establishing Opus One and for decades led Robert Mondavi Winery’s winemaking operations.

In 2005, following Constellation Brands’ buyout of Robert Mondavi Corp., Tim and his family embarked on a new venture, atop Napa’s Pritchard Hill, launching Continuum Estate.

“Our family has had to reinvent itself with every generation,” said Carissa, representing the fourth, “but I think with every step we have been able to refine and focus our commitment to great wine.”

Continuum Estate’s Sage Mountain Vineyard, with vines ranging in age from nine years to nearly 30, sits at 1,300 to 1,600 feet elevation, and has supplied 100 percent of the Continuum fruit since the 2012 vintage. “Continuum is our family’s grand cru on top of the world,” Tim said. “It’s a culmination of all that has come before, it is our dream come true, and it’s a work in progress.”

The Mondavis brought their Continuum Napa Valley 2013 (94 points, $225), a Cabernet Sauvignon–based blend, with a “beautiful iron core and vibrancy that is such an expression of this beautiful place,” said Carissa. “A hallmark of Dad’s winemaking: exquisitely balanced, texturally driven, layers of complexity, approachable in youth, but all the components to stand the test of time.” True of the wine, and true of the Mondavis.

More NY Wine Experience 2019

See More

Crystal Clear

Nov 15, 2019

Grand Award Banquet: Raising a Glass to Wine and Friendship

Oct 31, 2019

Wine Star: Adrian Bridge

Oct 31, 2019

Tasting the Top 10 Wines of 2018

Oct 25, 2019

6 Vintages and New Beginnings at Château Pichon Longueville Lalande

Oct 24, 2019

People NY Wine Experience 2019 Red Wines Wine Experience Cabernet Sauvignon California Napa United States

You Might Also Like

Vintage Prosecco with a Maestro

Vintage Prosecco with a Maestro

Can the oft-maligned Italian bubbly age? Nino Franco winery celebrates 100 years with a …

Nov 5, 2019
Sommelier Roundtable: Your Family's Holiday Wine Traditions

Sommelier Roundtable: Your Family's Holiday Wine Traditions

Try something new for a holiday feast—here's what 15 wine pros serve at home or as …

Nov 1, 2019
Wine Star: Adrian Bridge

Wine Star: Adrian Bridge

The head of the historic Fladgate Partnership poured a pair of 25-year-old, 100-point …

Oct 31, 2019
Vintner Without Borders

Vintner Without Borders

In California, Oregon and now Argentina, Dr. Madaiah Revana pursues terroir wines

Dec 15, 2019
A Bordeaux Family Tackles Champagne

A Bordeaux Family Tackles Champagne

Three branches of the Rothschilds are banding together to make sparkling wine

Dec 15, 2019
Harvey Steiman's Covers Gallery

Harvey Steiman's Covers Gallery

Outgoing editor Harvey Steiman contributed numerous cover stories to Wine Spectator over …

Dec 15, 2019
WineRatings+

WineRatings+

Xvalues

Xvalues

Restaurant Search

Restaurant Search