People of Charles Krug

Under the guidance of the Mondavi Family, Charles Krug Winery honors its roots while forging ahead to the future. From the mid-19th Century wild west to the more innovative techniques of the 21st Century, relatively humble beginnings have given way to the finest form of winemaking.

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Charles Krug

Man of Achievements

Our winery was founded in 1861 by a then 36-year-old Charles Krug. At the age of 27, the Prussian immigrant came to America with little more than a pioneering spirit and a willingness to work hard. Just nine years after coming to America, he built what would become the cornerstone of Napa Valley. He became a major local winery figure of his era, greatly influencing Napa Valley's development as a world-renowned wine-producing region.

His leadership was said to be inspirational and his ideas innovative. Charles Krug introduced the cider press for winemaking, the first of which is still on display at our winery. He carefully selected rootstocks, varietals, vine spacing and vineyard sites — a novel concept in late 19th century America.

The Mondavi Family

Cesare and Rosa Mondavi

Cesare Mondavi first came to the United States from Italy in 1906. In 1908, he returned to Italy where he married Rosa; they then moved to the United States as newlyweds. They settled in the mining town of Virginia, Minnesota. Eventually the family moved to Lodi, California where Cesare operated an ambitious wine grape shipping firm, started in 1922, purchasing and shipping California wine grapes to fellow Italian immigrants in Minnesota. Cesare would also make table wine for their own enjoyment, which was the custom in Italian families.

The family's formal entrance into the wine business began in 1943, when Cesare and Rosa Mondavi purchased the Charles Krug Winery for their sons Peter and Robert to run. They undertook an extensive program to develop quality vineyards, enhance winemaking techniques and increase marketing efforts.

In 1959, upon the death of her husband, Rosa became president of Charles Krug Winery and, along with her sons, Robert and Peter, operated the winery until 1965, when Robert moved a few miles south to Oakville to set up his own winery. Peter was named president of Charles Krug Winery in 1976.

Peter Mondavi, Sr.

The youngest of four children, Peter was born in the town of Virginia, Minnesota, before moving to Lodi with his family. Peter studied economics, earning his degree at Stanford University in 1938. Yet winemaking was never far from his mind, and he pursued graduate studies in chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley. There, he learned about the importance of cold fermentation for white and rosé wines.

Under the tutelage of the highly respected Dr. William V. Cruess, Peter conducted revolutionary research on cold fermentation, enabling the production of exceptionally crisp, fruity white wines that became the industry standard. With an honorable discharge from the Army in 1946 after serving in the military during World War II, Peter returned home to work in the new family business: Charles Krug Winery. It was at Charles Krug where he pioneered new approaches to wine production, including the cold fermentation techniques he learned at UC Berkeley.

In 1963, he introduced French oak barrels to age wines, citing their superior quality to the American oak popular at that time. He also introduced the use of glass-lined tanks to gain more control over the winemaking process. The winery was among the first California producers to label wines by varietal.

In February 2016, Peter Mondavi Sr. passed away at the age of 101. His sons Marc and Peter Jr. continue his legacy by leading the way at Charles Krug Winery.

The Mondavi Family

Today, Charles Krug Winery is under the direction of brothers Marc and Peter Mondavi, Jr., who steward the family business passed to them by their father, legendary Napa Valley wine icon Peter Mondavi, Sr. The family is now proudly welcoming members of the fourth generation to the business, continuing a legacy started more than 70 years ago, and setting a foundation for generations to come.


Stacy Clark

As winemaker for Charles Krug Winery, Stacy and her team work together with the Mondavi family to steward the Charles Krug estate vineyards and produce the premium, Napa-grown, Bordeaux-style wines that this historic family is famous for making.