Founded in 2005 by Californian winemaking pioneer Robert Mondavi and two of his children, Tim and Marcia, Continuum follows in the footsteps of the family’s other estates (Robert Mondavi Winery, Opus One etc) in the refinement of Napa Valley First Growths. As its name suggests, Continuum represents a celebration of the family’s rich winemaking history and mindset for the future. Heralding from a single estate, Continuum does not make a second wine, strengthening the estate’s vision of producing a single proprietary red that is recognised as one of the world’s great wines.
The estate’s first vineyard was purchased in 2008 in order to fulfil this vision of producing a wine from the estate’s own grapes. This first site is located on Pritchard Hill and has a rich terroir, full of iron from the volcanic soil. Speaking of the site, Tim has said “After searching three years for the perfect soil, climate and aspect, we now have a great site suited to our commitment of establishing a wine estate recognized among the finest in the world”. Tim, along with his children, planted the first Continuum vines here and in 2012 released the first Continuum vintage to derive 100% from Pritchard Hill. Vines have been planted on Pritchard Hill in the 1880s and two of Napa’s most revered cult wineries – Bryant family and Colgin – are located very nearby.
The Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot vines benefit greatly from the 1,300 to 1,600 feet elevation situated above the fog line, resulting in warmer days and cooler afternoon temperatures which ripen the grapes whilst allowing them to retain a good amount of acidity. The grapes are all hand harvested, hand sorted and passed through a gravity tank into small oak tanks for fermentation. The wine is aged in 100% new French oak. Although the Mondavi family connection to Bordeaux is apparent with most of their wines and processes, they take a Burgundian approach to racking Continuum, with just three to four rackings before bottling without fining or filtration. The bottles themselves are equally as special, with the label based on a painting by Tim’s daughter, Chiara Mondavi.