Childhood memories often evoke those joyful, carefree moments of youth. And for Angelina Mondavi, a fourth-generation member of the iconic C. Mondavi family of Napa Valley, the moments she recalls most vividly are playing outdoors in the sunshine on the unique flat summits of remote hills where they gathered as a family. “The Dunnigan Hills hold a special place in my memory as the landscape where my cousins and I would play hide-and-seek, run through the vineyards, fish and play in the pond,” says Angelina. “Those were carefree times when we could simply be ourselves.”
Those moments are the inspiration behind a new product line, Flat Top Hills, which was released over the summer. The Fourth Generation Mondavi Family Winery—also known as G4—launched the portfolio, which includes five wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rosé, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Red Blend. The wines are fruit-forward and full-bodied in style. A personal passion project for Angelina, the brand was created to pair easily with relaxed family meals, weeknight celebrations or a spontaneous moment on the front porch with a friend. “That’s the spirit of Flat Top Hills,” she says.
The oldest of Marc and Janice Mondavi’s four daughters, Angelina developed her winemaking skills over the years, working more than 30 harvests in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. She also contributed to the development of multiple 100-point wines within the Napa Valley. Building on the family legacy of the most notable wines and regions of California wine, the brand draws from family-farmed vineyards in the Dunnigan Hills, where they have 1,850 acres—900 are planted, and they select from about 300 acres for Flat Top Hills.
Head winemaker Randy Herron collaborated closely with Angelina, the only member of G4 to pursue winemaking and the only female winemaker in the Mondavi family. The philosophy behind Flat Top Hills was to craft a brand of wines that accentuate the best characters of the vineyards and the grape varietals. “We always want to be true to the varietal,” says Herron. That was the philosophy of my grandfather, adds Angelina, and we don’t stray far from that.
Gentle handling of the fruit and natural winemaking practices allow the quality of the vineyards to showcase the essence of the fruit and its true varietal expression. “We want the consumer to be satisfied and over deliver on flavor,” says Herron.
Launching a new brand in the midst of a pandemic brought its challenges for G4 and the winemaking team, but they embraced the task head on. When the product line launched, Herron and Angelina hosted Flat Top virtual moments on Instagram Live.
The winemaking team hopes consumers will find their Flat Top moments during these pandemic times with the new brand. “It’s an approachable wine with finesse, and we hope it gives someone a break from stress,” says Angelina, who still finds her Flat Top moment on occasion with her dog, Bailey, at the fishing hole at Dunnigan Hills.
Herron, the father of two active teenagers, often finds his Flat Top moment in the backyard, playing chef with BBQ tongs in hand. “This is a wine made for an adult time out. ” For more information, visit FlatTopWines.com.