GRAND Magazine - May/June 2019 - 20

cover story
it was a really pleasant surprise. When we spoke about
it back in 2010, you had a plan to keep it as a boutique
operation. Can you tell us a little bit about the winery,
how it came about and how it's been going?
Mario: I always say, the winery came about during a
very weak moment in my life. It's an opportunity that
came along pretty much when I was stepping out of
the cockpit and I embraced it, against the advice of
my management. But it's something that we've been
enjoying ever since. I sort of twisted Joe Antonini's
arm to join me and then to run it for me. Joe
3
4
- 19
ldo in Italy
Antonini was Chairman and CEO of Kmart at the time
A
r
e
th
ro
b
is
h
h
it
w
ft
le
Mario on
when I was active with the Newman Haas team and they
Mario holds up
GRAND: We can imagine or put ourselves somewhat in were the title sponsor for several years...when I drove
his trophies wit
h his wife Dee
the Daytona 5
Ann, after he w
your shoes. Has the family pulled together for you? Yours and Michael was my teammate.
00 auto race F
on
eb. 26, 1967.
is a close family, right?
We obviously grew to be a good friends and when I
Mario: Yes we are. In fact, I think the family even grew
retired in '94, he pretty much did the same, retire from his project was going on, and it's a blessing that he came
closer after her passing. Even though Michael and Jeff;
position. I ran across him about the time when this winery with me because, he's still in it. He still lives in Detroit but
he travels to California, sometimes, twice a week.
one lives in the middle of the country, the other one on
Mario: It's been a great ride with that winery. We have
the western side of the country, but we still get together
kept it under control pretty much, as you said, as a bouand they make specific plans to spend time and they contique, maintaining quality. We're actually above a boutinue with the same holidays as when Dee Ann was with
tique. A boutique is six or seven thousand cases, but
us. So, I like to keep that going. I think it's very important
we're beyond that. We're three or four times that. We
to all of us.
still have our original winemaker. Bob Pepi retired but his
GRAND: Yes, we have to carry on...exactly. I'm going to
second in command has stayed with us. I still have conswitch gears a bit here... Apparently being the greatest
trol and choose the styles of varietals. I wish I would have
racing driver of all time is not enough for you. Let's talk
more time to travel there, but whenever I do, it replenabout wine. You own a popular and very highly regarded
ishes my spirit. I just love that place. It's got something
winery in Napa Valley. Part of the reason I know is that we
very special about it. I call it one of the great things and
spoke about it in 2010. Also, I was driving around Napa
Valley where my daughter lives and I came across it and
Mario with his pals building a stock car in 1959 in Nazareth, PA beautiful things in life, you know, to be able to enjoy that.
20 GRAND

MAY JUNE 2019

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GRAND Magazine - May/June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - May/June 2019

Contents
GRAND Magazine - May/June 2019 - 1
GRAND Magazine - May/June 2019 - 2
GRAND Magazine - May/June 2019 - 3
GRAND Magazine - May/June 2019 - 4
GRAND Magazine - May/June 2019 - Contents
GRAND Magazine - May/June 2019 - 6
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