Angelina Mondavi is among a new generation of Napa Valley winemakers and earned a master’s degree in oenology from the University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus after spending a vintage with Yalumba. Today she leads A. Mondavi consulting – working with a portfolio that includes Brasswood Cellars, Dark Matter Wines, Aloft, Juslyn Vineyards and Castlevale – and continues to serve as a board director for C. Mondavi & Family.
This year, Angelina joins in the University of Adelaide Masterclass Pavilion for Cabernet - King of Grapes, alongside fellow alum Charlie Seppelt, Banjo Harris Plane and Kevin Glastonbury. This masterclass focuses on cabernets from renowned international terroirs: the Napa Valley, Coonawarra, Margaret River, Hawkes Bay and of course Bordeaux. In the meantime, learn more about Angelina in our Q&A.
Q&A with winemaker Angelina Mondavi
Tell us three things about yourself.
I have two labrador retrievers, a mini pot belly pig, an indoor cat, seven chickens and bee apiaries. I love to fly fish and hike as well.
How did the University of Adelaide shape your career in winemaking?
I grew up with my grandfather, Peter Mondavi Sr. who created and developed cold fermentation and cold stabilization, a technique we use in modern-day winemaking, so I was taught this is how the process should be done. However, the University of Adelaide taught me the reason behind the necessary processes that have been implemented by our family and the wine industry for decades.
What are your priorities when crafting a wine?
My focus always starts in the vineyards. Without healthy and balanced vines, the quality of fruit would not be there. That being said, once the fruit is processed, my focus is on the balance of acidity, tannin and alcohol.
You are considered part of winemaking's next generation -- how is the industry changing?
We are witnessing a change with increased diversification within the wine industry. Women and different cultures and backgrounds are becoming more integrated into today's wine industry. This is a huge shift and change from the dynamic I grew up in. We are also facing challenges we have never experienced before, such as the pandemic, supply chain issues, climate and so much more. All of this keeps me on my toes as much as it does anyone in the industry. It is allowing us to change, modify, adapt, and experiment. This is something we have not seen in the industry for decades.
What is your dream food and wine pairing?
Zinfandel with green coconut curry. There is nothing quite like it. The spiciness of the curry and the black pepper in the wine transforms on the palate. The food becomes less spicy and the wine spice softens and transforms to more fruit forward and slight sweetness.
What has been your most memorable moment in wine so far?
My first rated score of over 90 points at 21 years old by Wine Advocate for my 2005 Dark Matter Zinfandel.
Any bars, restaurants, or wineries you hope to visit during your time at the festival?
Henschke, Yalumba (where I worked as an intern), Seppeltsfield and so many more that bring back fond memories of when I studied for my Masters. Restaurants would be Enzo's - it's been over 15 years now, but that's where I worked as a hostess and Sommelier.
Where you'll find Angelina at Tasting Australia
- Masterclass - Cabernet - The King of Grapes: King of grapes is a big call – but cabernet always stands up to scrutiny. South Australian winemaker Charlie Seppelt is set to lead a masterclass focusing on cabernets from renowned international terroirs