Napa Valley’s legendary Robert Mondavi Winery debuts a first-of-its-kind partnership with French luxury porcelain house Bernardaud to revolutionize the world of wine collecting and authentication, while acting as a bold first step in the winery’s historic transformation to elevate its position as the Napa Valley’s preeminent luxury winery.
In a nod to the year the winery was established, the Robert Mondavi Winery x Bernardaud collection is titled “MCMLXVI” and features a limited series of 1,966 exquisitely designed Limoges porcelain 1.5L bottles. The magnums hold custom wine blends created by the acclaimed winemakers of the Robert Mondavi Winery Technical Council—Geneviève Janssens, Andy Erickson and Thomas Rivers Brown—and are sourced from the iconic To Kalon® Vineyard in Napa Valley. Each bottle will be offered exclusively through generative art non-fungible tokens (NFTs), each a unique and collectible piece of art, available for purchase starting December 15, 2021 at nft.robertmondaviwinery.com.
The NFTs were developed in strategic partnership with VaynerNFT, a pioneering entity under the umbrella of the VaynerX holding company founded by serial entrepreneur and chairman Gary Vaynerchuk. Inspired by the porcelain bottles and wine blends and driven by an autonomous system in tandem with the artist’s creative code, generative artist Clay Heaton will produce 1,966 original works of digital art created at the moment of purchase. These tokens act as a “key” to unlock redemption of the wine bottles, exclusive winery experiences and insider access to future offerings.
“We set out to create something truly revolutionary, channeling the visionary mindset of Mr. Mondavi himself, and are proud to introduce the Robert Mondavi Winery x Bernardaud NFT collection to mark the genesis of an historic transformation for the winery,” says Robert Hanson, President, Wine & Spirits division at Constellation Brands, the parent company of Robert Mondavi Winery. “Our shared commitment to incredible quality, farm-to-bottle craftsmanship and pioneering innovation has culminated in a thrilling endeavor from a winemaking perspective and a compelling investment for digital asset collectors, luxury design enthusiasts, and fine wine aficionados alike.”
The MCMLXVI collection unveils the first wine bottles that Bernardaud has produced in its 150-year history, each one taking 50 craftsmen two weeks to create. Sourced from the lauded 2019 vintage and made to age thirty years and beyond, each Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend reflects the vision of a member of the esteemed Robert Mondavi Winery Technical Council.
“The MCMLXVI wines honor the terroir of To Kalon Vineyard and reflect our dedication to producing world-class wines,” says Robert Mondavi Winery Chief Winemaker, Geneviève Janssens. “This collaboration is an embodiment of the innovative spirit of our founder, Robert Mondavi, and a testament to the legacy we are continuing to build.”
This offering addresses the global issue of counterfeit wine by employing a scannable authentication system. In a foreshadowing of the future of collectorship—where blockchain technology sets the standard for provenance—Robert Mondavi Winery will offer each collector a digital transaction record for their corresponding NFT purchase tied to the wine bottle they receive, acting as proof of authenticity that will forever live on the blockchain. The immutable ownership created through this process places the winery on the cutting edge of the wine authentication revolution.
To address the carbon emissions created through the process of minting NFTs, Robert Mondavi Winery has partnered with sustainability platform Aerial to track and offset the carbon footprint associated with this project, in line with the winery’s commitment to sustainability in all of its practices, from organic farming to responsible energy consumption.