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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
24 Jul 2009

Recognise that tower in the background behind Jeremy Nickel of Far Niente?  It's usually seen with accompanying arch on Robert Mondavi labels.  Here it's viewed from behind the winery last Saturday night just before one of their summer concerts, a series started 40 years ago on a shoestring budget by Margrit Biever, who was then the winery's PR person.  She became Mrs Robert Mondavi but continues to organise - and introduce - the concerts to this day. We joined her, and San Francisco radio host Gene Burns, at a pre-concert supper in the vines.  Hear what young Mr Nickel has to say about Margrit's contribution at Vinexpo - which continued this year.  She arrived in Bordeaux mid afternoon after an extremely tortuous journey from California and went out that night to the big - and very late - opening dinner for the media at Ch Lafite.

When Nathalie Cole had to drop out of last Saturday's concert because of ill health, it was Margrit and her team who managed to find Blondie to stand in - and she still has the most wonderful voice and stage presence. I'd forgotten quite how many hits she notched up.