Folio Fine Wine Partners History
Folio Fine Wine Partners was born of Michael Mondavi’s belief that the best wines in the world would be made by wineries that were family owned and family managed. In late 2004 with the sale of Robert Mondavi Corporation finalized, Michael established Folio with his wife Isabel, son Rob Jr and daughter Dina, from a small cottage near their home, selling their first case of wine in February 2005.
Michael has been the company’s visionary and “Coach” since its inception and his lifelong experience in grape growing, winemaking, sales and marketing, alongside his father over three decades has been vital to the company’s growth. A third generation vintner, Michael understood the nature of the wine business, long term investments and the sense of ownership and responsibility to consumers and customers, producing wines with his family name on the bottle. The same is true of today where Michael and family continue to be active in the overall vision and direction for Folio, taking pride in both producing wines and representing families whose own heritage spans generations of winemaking in Europe.
Through the early years of Robert Mondavi Winery and subsequent establishment of Michael Mondavi Family Estate, Michael recognized the inherent difficulties faced by small family owned wine producers in successfully bringing their wines to American consumers. Much like a guild, Michael and family set out to recruit prestigious like-minded family wineries, who would maintain their brand identity and individual operating models, but use their collective knowledge, share ideas, best practices and band together under one collective group to gain both market share and attention in the minds of distributors and wholesalers.
The Frescobaldi group was the first supplier to come on board in 2005 with the brands of Frescobaldi, Luce della Vite, Danzante and Ornellaia. Michael’s business relationship with the Frescobaldi family dates back to 1995 with the creation of Luce della Vite - a joint venture between the Mondavi and Frescobaldi families. With Tim Mondavi as founding winemaker, and Michael and Robert leading the vision together with Vittorio & Lamberto Frescobaldi, today Luce della Vite is one of the leading brands represented by Folio Fine Wine Partners.
In 2006 and 2007 the portfolio expanded into Spain with producers including Vall Llach, Fillaboa, and Alvaro Palacios’ Rioja property Palacios Remondo. Both the Italian and Spanish portfolios continue to expand, and now include the prestigious wines from Bruno Giacosa and Dal Forno Romano. Recent portfolio additions Susana Balbo Wines in Argentina, and France’s Champagne Charles Heidsieck, will transform the company even more, and supports the Company’s ongoing mission to become the preeminent purveyor of the best regions of the world.
Although now having 10 years of experience and a very strong track record of success, Folio is still a young company with huge growth potential. New producers are assessed for unique portfolio position, cultural fit, and business potential. The collective experience of the leadership team is from all aspects of the industry and not limited by Napa Valley origins or traditional producer mindsets which offers a unique understanding of the nuances of the business and perspective in the most complex wine business in the world.