Mondavi Mansion Mystery Unmasked

So now we know who the mystery buyers of the Robert Mondavi mansion are _ Jean-Charles Boisset, president of the French company Boisset Family Estates, which owns several California wineries, and his wife, Gina Gallo, granddaughter of California wine pioneer Julio Gallo.

Call me sentimental but I like the idea of all that dynastic family winemaking converging in one spot.

The news was first reported in the Wine Spectator and Boisset confirmed the purchase to the Napa Valley Register, saying the property is a spectacular site with amazing views.

I have no idea what will happen next, but if the renovations at Boisset’s Raymond Vineyards are anything to go by, it could be pretty interesting.

The house is 11,500 square feet on a 56-acre estate with sweeping views, a tower and a 50-foot indoor pool off the living room, under a retractable roof. It originally was listed for $25 million but the price was later dropped to $13.9 million with the recession and all. The house ultimately went for less than that, although there reportedly were two bids that were described as “strong.”

Faithful readers may recall that when the house went up for bid at the reduced price in October, the various descriptions of its fabulous fittings left me with a slight case of real estate envy. After all, the only sweeping views at Chez Vinecdote involve me, a broom and a good deal of dust. So, I decided to spruce up the homestead by fixing the leaking pipe under the kitchen sink.

How’d that go? Good news: pipe no longer leaks. Bad news: I used up an entire month’s swear quota in the space of about 15 minutes.