We say a fond farewell to Margrit Biever Mondavi who passed on Friday. In the years since she moved to Napa Valley and married Robert Mondavi, her pioneering and innovative spirit helped steer the cultural and culinary course of California’s wine country. Starting with the Summer Music Festival and Winter Concert series, the Great Chefs program and a progressive fine arts program at Robert Mondavi Winery, she went on to champion the renovation of the Napa Valley Opera House and, together with her husband, founded COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts, supported the Oxbow School to assist young art students, and made a substantial gift to the University of California at Davis to establish the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science and to launch the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.
But what made Margrit so very special was her ineffable style and joie de vivre. She was an accomplished artist and writer, adventurous traveler, loyal friend, and loving mother and grandmother. Loved and admired, hers was a life well lived.
We have our own claim on knowing Margrit. She was one of our first Winery Truffle Lunch hosts at the second annual Napa Truffle Festival in 2012, which definitely gave the festival a certain cachet. The consummate hostess, she welcomed everyone and took particular delight in feeding Rico the truffle dog. Never one to miss a party, she also joined us a special guest for the Truffles & Wine Dinner at La Toque. Lucky us!
Read her tribute in the Napa Valley Register.