On wine and Beaufort: A talk with Robert Mondavi, Jr

“Round, plush, and velvety” are a few words used by fourth-generation winemaker Robert Mondavi, Jr. to describe his newest Spellbound Wine. Sounds pretty good, right? Well you’re in luck, Robert Mondavi, Jr. is bringing 20 different wines to the Bottles and Barrels event at Habersham on June 14 and 15. The wines Rob intends on showing include several different family wines, notably Spellbound and Isabell Mondavi. He will also offer some fantastic imported wines from Europe, including a Prosecco that Rob claims to be the “perfect wine for the Lowcountry,” that will also be served at the Sunday Jazz Brunch.

You may be wondering why a Napa Valley winemaker is becoming so involved with a local Habersham event. Wonder no more; Rob and his Southern wife Lydia, along with their three year old son, are currently building a beachfront house on St. Helena Island and think it is a great opportunity to meet some local folk. Rob is the son of Isabel and Michael Mondavi and was raised in the Napa Valley.

When asked why Beaufort? Rob said, “I don’t think people have found out how wonderful it is here.” They knew they wanted to buy in the Lowcountry, in aRobert Mondavi and eatstayplaybeaufort.com Foodie Stephanie Venz at Habersham small town where kids can run around freely on the beach. Beaufort fit the bill for Rob, stating that it is a “charming community,” that also happens to have good redfish fly fishing spots, too!

The successful winemaker also appreciates good food and has been to several restaurants in the Beaufort Dining scene. He has enjoyed dining at Wined It Up and mentioned that the owners offer some great wines. In addition, Rob states that Saltus has a “incredibly thought-out wine list and the food is distinctly Southern yet continental.” When in the mood for a casual dining experience, Steamers hits the spot with their Frogmore Stew.

If you haven’t already heard about the fabulous “Southern Living inspired event”, Bottles and Barrels at Habersham, here are a few of the details:
Saturday June 14th from 12pm-4pm the Bottles and Barrels tasting event will be held where you can enjoy UNLIMITED (no, that’s not a typo) tastings from twenty wineries and twenty craft breweries.

Starting at 1pm a Cast Iron Chef Cookoff Main Course Tasting will occur where local chef’s from some of Beaufort’s best restaurants will go head-to-head in a live 30 minute challenge. All dishes must incorporate Southern Living’s Ingredientof the Year: Bacon!

At 2.30pm we move onto the Cast Iron Chef Cookoff Dessert Tasting! Three local dessert masters will compete for best bacon-style dessert.

Sunday June 15th from 11am-2pm Rob and Lydia Mondavi will host a Jazz Brunch. You will be free to enjoy a Southern-style garden party complete with croquet and tethered hot air balloon rides! At noon, you can experience a full-service brunch with menu created by Chef Robby Melvin, Southern Living’s own Test Kitchen Director. Oh yeah, there will be the odd bloody mary and Prosecco involved, too! You can buy tickets to the just one part of the two-day event, or the whole shebang!

Alternatively, if you are interested in volunteering, there is a sign up day on Monday June 2 being held at the Spaghetti Club in Habersham for event ‘pourers’ and ticket takers. You will get a free glass of wine at the sign up and a free event shirt for volunteering.

We can’t wait to see you at Bottles and Barrels. It’ll be a fun event put together by the fine event planners over at Plum Productions.  eatstayplaybeaufort.com is a proud sponsor of the event.

You can always see more of Stephanie over on her travel & style blog at TripsandTrends.com.

On wine and Beaufort: A talk with Robert Mondavi


By Stephanie Venz