The town of Woodbridge is nestled between the Sacramento River Delta and the Sierra Nevada Foothills, surrounded by acres of grapevines. The gnarled old vines you pass along the roads to the winery speak to the history of the Lodi area. Lured by the abundant sunshine that ripened grapes for wine, many Italian immigrants came here in the 1800s. Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, of Sassoferrato, Italy, first immigrated to Minnesota but soon traveled west to settle their family in Lodi, where Robert, his brother, and two sisters grew up among these vineyards. Robert established the Robert Mondavi Winery in the Napa Valley in 1966. Looking for a place to produce quality wine for people to enjoy with every meal, he returned to Lodi.
In 1979 he acquired the Cherokee Wine Association, established by several Lodi grape growers as a cooperative for producing wine after the repeal of Prohibition. He renamed the property Woodbridge Winery. Today, Woodbridge remains one of a few surviving wineries in the Lodi area that began as a cooperative. In 1979, Woodbridge Winery became the first in the region to convert to single-label wine production with Robert Mondavi red and white wines, affectionately known as Bob Red and Bob White. In 1985 the winery pioneered the gentle, direct-to-press operation for white wines, now practiced industry-wide. In 1986, Woodbridge became the first winery in the popular premium category to produce and vintage date varietally-labeled wines, highly regarded for their complex flavor and character.