In this episode of Before IT Happened, Donna chats with Carlo Mondavi, a descendant of Napa Valley wine royalty and a leading advocate for sustainable agriculture and organic and biodynamic farming. Carlo’s grandfather Robert Mondavi founded the family winery in 1966 in Northern California and passed on his passion for wine and organic farming. Today Carlo is dedicated to The Monarch Challenge, a program to educate, encourage and connect communities to farming without chemicals. In 2013, Carlo also opened Raen Winery with his brother Dante, where they specialize in their grandfather’s favorite grape, pinot noir. Listen now and be inspired by Carlo’s passion for great wine, fruitful farming, and a healthier earth.
Before any world-changing innovation, there was a moment, an event, a realization that sparked the idea before it happened. This is a podcast about that moment — about that idea. Before IT Happened takes you on a journey with the innovators who imagined — and are still imagining — our future. Join host Donna Loughlin as her guests tell their stories of how they brought their visions to life.
JUMP STRAIGHT INTO:
(01:23) - Robert Mondavi’s story and the wine legacy of his family: “Even though my family has been making wine for a hundred years, the challenges that we have faced, like prohibition, kept us very humble.”
(07:04) - A brief detour: Leaving the California vineyards for snowy mountains: “I went to a school in Colorado where during the wintertime there was a snowboard team. That was where I started with the snowboard.”
(10:37) - Anne-Claude Leflaive, biodynamics and a life-changing trip to Burgundy: “I remember her talking about farming, about this connection to the land, and about biodynamics and biodynamics at the time was a crazy idea.”
(17:13) - The problem with the chemical industry and getting involved with Monarch: “I got involved in this so that we could bridge those divides and we could solve these major pain points for farmers, farms, and agricultural communities.”
(26:45) - The Monarch Challenge and introducing the Monarch Tractor: “There was a massive pain on so many levels that we needed to solve. We needed to automize, electrify and clean up our carbon footprint with farming.”
(35:52) - A farmer-first company: Creating technology for all farmers’ benefit: “We want to be a solution to making farmers safer, healthier, happier, and more profitable at the end of the day, so that we can continue to do what we love.”
(43:06) - Leading this movement through technology: “I see a really bright future in agriculture, and it's not just in getting rid of the chemicals, it’s in making farms more successful and more profitable.”
Connect with Carlo through LinkedIn and Twitter
Join The Monarch Challenge
Read Why Organic Winegrowing Can Be More Profitable Than Conventional featuring Carlo
See the Monarch Tractor in action and learn more about Monarch Tractor
Follow Monarch Tractor on Twitter and Instagram
Learn more about Raen Winery