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Light of the Vine

"Light of the Vine" is a painting by Chiara Mondavi, Tim's daughter, which she produced for Continuum. Feeling a deep affinity for the energy and expression from the vineyards, she turned to the vine as an expression of life, for inspiration with the Continuum label.

The painting is a shadow painting of an old Cabernet Franc vine, planted by her father Tim 25 years previously, whose silhouette she captured on canvas at sunset. The original, standing 12 feet wide and 6 feet tall, depicts the vine true to its size in life. Chiara Mondavi, a graduate from the California College of Arts, has worked in various aspects of the family wine business, especially in the vineyards. Chiara graduated with an associate’s degree in Viticulture and Enology in 2012.     



One purpose, one estate, one family. Continuum is an opportunity for our family to realize our ongoing passion for excellence in winegrowing by creating a singular wine recognized among the finest in the world. Continuum truly is the culmination of our family’s four generations in wine and Tim’s four decades as a winegrower. Tim's been very fortunate to work in some of the best wine regions and vineyard sites around the globe. We know that this property is a great estate. Our quest is to realize this potential and to create a new First Growth. 


  •  2012 - First Continuum vintage 100% from our hillside estate vineyard.
  • 2005 - Robert, Tim and Marcia Mondavi found Continuum to produce a single estate wine.
  • 1966 - Robert Mondavi Winery is founded to produce world-class wines.
    Tim leads winegrowing for over 30 years while Marcia develops innovative sales and education programs.
  • 1943 - Family purchase of Charles Krug Winery - The Mondavi's grow and bottle quality table wine
  • 1933 - Cesare Mondavi produces quality Napa Valley bulk wine. Family purchases part of Sunny St. Helena Winery.
  • 1919 - Cesare Mondavi ships California grapes to home winemakers.


We believe the great wines of the world faithfully reflect their sites. The first three vintages from Continuum emphasize our family’s historic roots in Oakville. Since 2008 we have sourced predominantly from our Pritchard Hill vineyards and as of 2012, Continuum is 100% estate grown and bottled. We emphasize the varieties our estate grows best; Cabernet Sauvignon for its rich, powerful base, Cabernet Franc's silk and length, Petit Verdot brings generous color and strength, all harmonized by a small amount of Merlot. This unique blend captures the essence of our wine growing. Continuum is an integrated and balanced wine; silky in texture, long and supple with both power and elegance.

Currently 41 acres are in production with new vineyard development under way bringing the total to 60 acres over time. Average yield is 1.8 tons per acre with vine age averaging 18 years. Cabernet Sauvignon makes up 55% of the plantings, Cabernet Franc 30%, Petit Verdot 11% and Merlot 4%. Vineyard spacing, row direction, rootstock and clonal choices are selected to match the specific needs of each 1-2 acre vineyard block. The combination of a longer high-elevation growing season, more even frost free temperatures and low vigor stony mineral soils combine to create an ideal setting to grow great red wine. At Continuum we are stewards of the land and farm accordingly. Our vineyard practices are organic though not certified



All fruit is selectively hand-harvested into small lug-boxes, sorted before and after de-stemming, then gravity fed into a combination of specially designed small French oak and cement tanks, with a small amount going to French oak barrels for fermentation. Each lot enjoys a lengthy maceration time, ranging from 21-43 days. During this time, pump overs and below the cap lees stirring are enacted daily. In addition, prior to pressing, rack and return is performed 3-4 times in each fermentation tank. Post-fermentation, all lots are drained, with pomace pressed separately, to 85% new small French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation. The lees are kept in barrel with the new wine for an extended period of stirring, to enrich the body, nourish the wine and polish the tannins. The wine is clarified slowly and naturally through the use of traditional settling and racking techniques and bottled without fining or filtration. In the end, 25-30% of potential lots are declassified as they do not meet Continuum’s standard of quality. On average, each vintage will spend 19-20 months in barrel. 


At Continuum, each of our 36 vineyard blocks are harvested, sorted, crushed and fermented independently of the rest. The winery was designed to allow for that flexibility and to respect the individuality of each of our vineyard blocks. Of course this requires a more flexible use of winery space and additional tanks but respecting the inherent vineyard site variations requires that we evaluate and experiment with each separately throughout the winemaking cycle. This is an integral part of understanding our unique terroir as we strive to make a singular world class wine. Our fermentation vessels are a combination of Taransaud and Francois Fouderie oak, ranging from 2.5- 8 tons in size (70%), Sonoma Cast Stone and Nomblot concrete vessels 3- 6 tons sizes (20%) with a small amount (10%) of fermentation in oak barrels and ¾ ton open bins. All wood and concrete fermentation tanks are equipped with automated pump over air pumps and temperature control sensors to ensure a gentle and timely extraction. This capability allows each lot to be handled independently, and achieve the desired temperatures on a timely basis. 



Latest news

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 James Suckling., Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  3 wines  from  Continuum Estate . In a tasting of  27 wines 

Petrus 2015 / The aromas to this are a reference for Pomerol with truffles, black olives, black licorice and dark fruit. Even brown sugar. Full-bodied, layered and multi-dimensional. Chocolate underlines the character above. The perfect tannin texture, length and balance make you think you're dreaming. All about harmony and beauty. Love to taste it now but needs at least five or six years. 100p

1y 8m ago

 Antonio Galloni, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  2 wines  from  Continuum Estate . In a tasting of  29 wines 

Bryant Family 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, tasted from a working base blend, is just magnificent. Seldom - maybe never - I have seen a young Bryant Cabernet that is this well put-together at this stage. The integrity of the fruit, acid and structure is outstanding. Sweet red and purplish fruit, sweet floral notes and spice are all beautifully lifted. The 2018 is flat-out stunning. That's all there is to it.

1y 9m ago

 Stephen Tanzer, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Continuum Estate . In a tasting of  25 wines 

Screaming Eagle 2010 / (75% cabernet sauvignon, 16% merlot and 9% cabernet franc; the harvest here ended on October 13, about two weeks later than usual): Brilliant ruby-red. Urgent aromas of crushed boysenberry, wild herbs, licorice and spearmint are complemented by sexy oak tones. Densely packed and electric, with great energy to the highly concentrated, pliant flavors of black fruits, cocoa powder and flowers. Still quite youthfully backward, but the inexorable slowly mounting finish and big but noble tannins suggest a long and glorious evolution in bottle. Owing to the small clusters, thick skins and concentration of tannins, this wine got a longer elevage than usual, with the bottling done at the end of November 2012.

2y 10m ago

 Mikko Pakkanen, Wine Collector (Monaco)  tasted  4 wines  from  Continuum Estate . In a tasting of  12 wines 

Tasting latest Continuums with Tim Mondavi

3y 11m ago

 Hans Mayer, Wine Merchant (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Continuum Estate . In a tasting of  14 wines 

Winemakers from around the valley agree the Napa 2013 vintage holds exceptional promise and potential and exceeded expectations following on the heels of 2012 – another year that has been described as “nearly perfect.”

5y 9m ago

 Kate Bell / Sommelier, Pro (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Continuum Estate . In a tasting of  23 wines 

Napa Premiere 2014 vintage tasting / In spite of the drought and the South Napa earthquake, vintners are using words like “quality,” “depth of flavor” and “excellent” to describe their expectations for the 2014 vintage in Napa Valley. Many are also noting “perfect weather,” “abundant crop” and “good fortune” among the blessings they are counting in a season where Mother Nature threw a rockin’ curveball.

Harvest started and ended earlier than usual. The first grapes for sparkling wine picked on July 30 and nearly all harvest activity was completed by the third week in October – for many, a full two weeks ahead of the normal harvest schedule.

5y 9m ago

 Michel Jamais, Wine Writer (Sweden)  tasted  1 wines  from  Continuum Estate . In a tasting of  10 wines 

“Continuum 2008 / This is a blend of 71 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 17 percent Cabernet and small portions of Petit Verdot and Merlot. In this vintage, some 70 percent of the fruits comes from the estate vineyards – so for the first time since the inaugural vintage (2005) we are able to get a pretaste on what eventually will be one of the finest wines in the valley (or more accurate, above the valley). When the vineyards are mature, the blend will most likely consist of around 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and a greater proportion of Cabernet Franc Franc (which thrives in the reddish volcanic soil here).
Without doubts, Tim Mondavi is a great winemaker. Small yields, a strict selection of grapes, a few days of cold soak to enhance the flavors and reduce the amount of bitterness from the skins and seeds, and then a natural fermentation with a cuvaison of around 30-35 days. Then the wine is transferred into brand new French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and around 20 months of ageing. The result is stunning!
Color is very dark, purple and almost opaque. Already above the glass, the aromas are rich and very intense, loaded with cassis and dark cherries, with a note reminiscent of violets, and in the background there’s a very complex addition of the stony soil (it’s just like someone stood outside the window, and hammers on rocks). That stony quality will follow on the palate, and in combination with the lively acidity it creates an energy that’s just amazing. It’s like the wine dances on your tongue. I can’t help falling for this – in all possible ways the wine speaks of its origin, and Tim Mondavi have just added his skills to steward that, without interfering. This is a wine of true terroir!Although there’s enough sweetness from the ripe fruit to be charming, there’s also a firm and very serious tannic structure not to be ignored. I’d recommend an hour or two in the decanter, or even a few more years in the cellar before you pop the cork. A not to daring guess is that this wine will into something extremely complex and Bordeaux like with ageing.
Style wise I’d call this a neo-classic wine. It offers everything you like from Napa Valley, without being over the top or to ripe or alcoholic. By the way, I didn’t even think about the alcohol when I tasted the wine. Almost 2 000 cases were made – still the wine is hard to find. But it’s well worth trying ...”

6y 2m ago

 Mario Sculatti / Sleeping Lady Vineyard, Wine Maker (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Continuum Estate . In a tasting of  11 wines 

“Shafer Hillside Select 2011 -95 points / Good looking normal size bottle in a perfect condition. Colour is ruby red, and looking bright and deep. On the nose it is wide, refined, fresh and pure. The taste is fresh, full, vigor, perfumed, firm, full-bodied, with balanced and complex structure. On the palate it is layered and has dried-fruit, pepper, smoky, tobacco, blackcurrant, leather, herbs, earthy and meaty flavours. The finish is long, extensive, lingering, pure and spicy. This wine is intelligent, transparent and sexy. Perfectly stored bottles are still very worthy and will last well for another 10-15 years and decant at least 2h before tasting.”

6y 9m ago

 Wallace Shawn / Wine Investing Consult, Wine Merchant (Luxembourg)  tasted  1 wines  from  Continuum Estate . In a tasting of  24 wines 

“Some 2012 Napa cabs - Bryant Family and Colgin were stars of the night:
Bryant Family 2012, Bottle in a excellent condition and has by the neck level. Colour is ruby red, bright and full. On the nose it is intense, fresh, seductive and rich. The taste is focused, refined, with silky tannins. Full-bodied, with balanced good texture and concentrated structure. On the palate it is layered and has dried-fruit, raspberry, truffles, tropical fruits, blackcurrant, spice, smoky and cigar-box flavours. The finish is long, extensive, flavorful and pure. This wine is intelligent, sophisticated and fine. Perfectly stored bottles are still very worthy and will last well for another 10-15 years and decant at least 2h before tasting. 95 points”

6y 10m ago

 Mario Sculatti / Sleeping Lady Vineyard, Wine Maker (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Continuum Estate . In a tasting of  16 wines 

“G Major 7 Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 98 points / It is blended from selected fruit off the 575 ovx vineyard and is named after a classic jazz guitar chord. Like its namesake, it is composed of four of the five classic Bordeaux varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and Merlot. G Major 7 is highly nuanced and provides a profound sense of elegance and complexity, changing with every swirl and sip. The nose reflects subtle floral notes, which develop into deep, crushed berry and earth flavors on the palate. Its tannins are refined and seamlessly integrated. The aging potential is 25 plus years.”

6y 10m ago

 Juha Lihtonen / The Best Scandinavian Sommelier 2003, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Continuum Estate . In a tasting of  15 wines 

“This was a vintage that yielded wines with great layers and nuances thanks to prolonged harvest period. The fruit material was very ripe, but showed as well a lot of freshness and lively acidity. For me it is reminiscent of the 2005 but with a greater degree of concentration. –Cory Empting, Winemaker of Harlan and BOND Estate”

9y 2m ago

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