Audio/Video Programs

Joseph Ponti
Oral History

November 15, 1973

Joseph Ponti

Interviewed by William Heintz

The 90 year old Italian immigrant shares stories of his life in Napa Valley after arriving in San Francisco in 1907. He oversaw the initial winemaking/cellaring at Beaulieu Vineyard and worked there for over 40 years. He was the great uncle of Steve Tonella of S.R. Tonella Cellars in Rutherford.

1 hour 7 minutes


Brother Timothy, Christian Brothers
Oral History

September 8, 1980

Brother Timothy, Christian Brothers

Interviewed by William Heintz

PART 1
William meets with Brother Timothy to discuss the many aspects of the Mont LaSalle School and Winery on Mt. Veeder. The Christian Brothers move from Martinez, CA to Napa Valley is an additional topic.

PART 2
Discussions include late 19th century winemaker Rudolf Jordan and his historic Castle Rock Vineyard, the disappearance of Cabernet in the early 1900s, gardening and grape varieties on the Mont LaSalle property.

PART 3
1980 was Mont LaSalle’s 50th anniversary. A discussion on whether World War II played a role in leading California winemakers to bottle their wine prior to shipping to eastern states.

Part 1 of 3  |  30 minutes

Part 2 of 3  |  32 minutes

Part 3 of 3  |  29 minutes


Donn Chappallet
Oral History

October 3, 1983

Donn Chappellet

Interviewed by William Heintz

The co-founder of Chappellet shares his ideas that eventually led to purchasing the iconic Pritchard Hill. It was his belief that grapes grown on hillsides produced the best wine.

59 minutes


John and Janet Trefethen
Oral History

July 2, 1984

John and Janet Trefethen

Interviewed by William Heintz

The husband and wife team share details about their lives prior to marriage and founding Trefethen Family Vineyards. They talk extensively about building their growth and the successes they experienced.

1 hour 3 minutes


Robert Mondavi
Oral History

March 26, 1997

Robert Mondavi

Interviewed by William Heintz

The discussion includes the expansion of Cabernet Sauvignon’s growth in Napa Valley, the forming of the Napa Valley Technical Group with Andre Tchelistcheff and other winery owners. The group shared research and “secrets” with each other.

33 minutes


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The purpose of the Napa Valley Wine Library is to preserve and disseminate information regarding viticulture, enology and wine lore, particularly as it pertains to the Napa Valley.