Superior farming is about listening to the vines, tending to their needs, accentuating their best tendencies. We force nothing onto our vineyard, and in turn it teaches us about itself. Through the wine we make, it expresses its emerging, original personality. We use the term winegrowing to express this belief – that the highest expression of wine is, with beauty and character, to reflect its site.
Light of the Vine
The concept of terroir – and our winegrowing philosophy – is simple, composed of just five elements: the soil, the vine, the sun, the rain, and the hand of the winegrower. Wine’s unique beauty and magic is that it coalesces these powerful, natural elements into a form that we can experience intimately and experientially.
“Light of the Vine” is a painting by Chiara Mondavi, Tim’s daughter, which she produced for Continuum. Reproduced on our label, the image captures perfectly the miraculous beauty of winegrowing. In this sprawling image, she expresses how we see the vine and what it means to us: the juxtaposition of simplicity and complexity, the convergence of different organic energies, the sheer brilliance of nature that illuminates our lives.
The painting is a shadow painting of an old Cabernet Franc vine, planted by Tim twenty-five years previously, whose silhouette she captured on canvas at sunset. The original painting, standing twelve feet wide and six feet tall and on display at our estate house, depicts the vine true to size.
Compared to the vineyard, a winery is a simple place. As much a place where the transformation of fermentation occurs, it is a vault whose job it is to safeguard the natural beauty of the harvest until it reaches maturity.
The Art of Blending
Much as the combination of notes can become a symphony and the joining of colors can become a painting, the careful merging of our unique components elevates wine into art.