Friday, June 24, 2005


University of California, Davis
June 23, 2005


[Editor's note: Digital images of the architect's drawing for the Robert Mondavi Institute and of the groundbreaking can be obtained from Pat Bailey, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9843,]

Using a giant-sized fork, corkscrew and bottle opener, honored guests ceremonially broke ground today for the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science before an audience of some 300 faculty, staff, students, elected officials and representatives of the beverage and food industries.

The public groundbreaking ceremony was followed by a reception in the nearby Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.

Participating in the event were the Mondavis; Doug Muhleman, group vice president of brewing operations and technology at Anheuser-Busch Inc.; UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef; Neal Van Alfen, dean of UC Davis' College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; and Clare Hasler, executive director of the Robert Mondavi Institute.

Representing the state's investment in the institute through voter-approved bonds were California Assemblymember Lois Wolk, D-Davis, and state Sens. Mike Machado, D-Linden, and Wesley Chesbro, D-Arcata.

"We at UC Davis are grateful to Robert and Margrit Mondavi, Anheuser-Busch Inc. and the State of California for making the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science a reality," said Vanderhoef. "Our renowned programs in wine and food science will be, just in time, the beneficiaries of this generous vote of confidence."

"It's a great day for everyone interested in wine and food and for all of us present here at UC Davis for this historic groundbreaking,"
added Robert Mondavi. "It is an honor for our family, which has been involved in wine and food for four generations. We expect great things from this institute for many, many years to come."

Hasler, the Mondavi Institute's executive director, called today's celebration "a historic occasion, not only for the institute and UC Davis, but also for the state of California.

"In a very tangible way, we are taking the first step toward drawing together the people, ideas and resources that will position the RMI as the global innovator in university-based wine and food programs."

Scheduled to open in early 2008, the institute will house UC Davis'
top-ranked departments of Viticulture and Enology, and Food Science and Technology.

The first building to be constructed will be a 129,600-square-foot academic building, which will be built in three wings wrapping around a courtyard that will face westward toward a teaching vineyard and open space. The courtyard will contain demonstration gardens and serve as a venue for special events.

All three wings of the academic building will be built of reinforced concrete, with exteriors that combine a glass-curtain wall, cement plaster and stone veneer. There will be two three-story wings, one housing the viticulture and enology department and the other housing the food science and technology department. The third wing will be two stories and include shared sensory laboratories and offices for the institute.

In addition to the academic building, a teaching-and-research winery and a brewing-and-food-science laboratory also will be built.
Construction of the institute's facilities has been made possible by a combination of state and private funds. In 2004, California voters earmarked $33.6 million for construction of the institute's academic building as part of the $12.3 billion statewide Proposition 55 bond measure.

The institute was established in 2001 with a $25 million gift from Robert Mondavi. The Anheuser-Busch Foundation has provided $5 million in matching funds to help construct the Institute's brewing-and-food-science laboratory, and Ronald Miller and Diane Disney Miller donated $1 million for the institute's winery.

Among the many other donors participating in the institute are Beringer Blass Wine Estates NA, which has supported construction of the winery's hospitality rooms, and Wendell Jacob, who is funding the demonstration vineyard in memory of his father, Harry E. Jacob.

Media contact(s):
* Clare Hasler, Robert Mondavi Institute, (530) 754-6349,
* Pat Bailey, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9843,

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