Matt Smith, left, a graduate student in viticulture and enology, talks with Robert Mondavi while the winemaker signs a copy of his book, "Harvests of Joy: How the Good Life Became a Great Business." Mondavi was on campus May 21 for a luncheon held in his honor by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Matt's great-grandfather and Robert Mondavi's father grew up in the same town in Italy and then both of them settled in America in the Midwest as well. Matt worked the harvest last year in the Mondavi vineyards. Two years ago the Mondavis donated $25 million to help build the Robert Mondavi Insitute for Wine and Food Science. Now the university is raising additional funds to complete Mondavi's vision as it prepares for a 2004 groundbreaking of what already is being called the most prestigious wine and food science academic program in the world. The fundraising is challenging amid the slow economy and cutbacks in the state's agricultural sector.

-- By Clifton Parker

Media Resources

Clifton B. Parker, Dateline, (530) 752-1932,

Amy Agronis, (530) 752-1932,

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