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The Mondavi Summer Music Festival gets underway on Saturday, June 30. 

Robert Mondavi Winery, in association with BottleRock Presents, will launch the 49th annual Margrit Mondavi Summer Concert Series starting on June 30 with a performance by multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw along with a fireworks display above the winery.

The concert series will run each Saturday through July 28, featuring artists such as Citizen Cope, Brandi Carlile, X Ambassadors, and Fitz and The Tantrums. Tickets for two of the five concerts are still available.

“The sun goes down, the stars come out and you’re just sitting in this amazing venue listening to these incredibly talented musicians,” said Kathy Magner, hospitality director at Robert Mondavi Winery. “It’s such an intimate venue and it creates this really genuine experience.”

Magner described the history of the concert series. “It started with a vision that Margrit Mondavi had in 1969, and today we try to continue that vision. At the time, Margrit was not married to Mr. Mondavi, and they were sitting out on the lawn together at the winery when Margrit commented that it would be great to have live music featured on the lawn. Robert told her, ‘Don’t talk about it, just do it,’ and the rest was history.”

Over the decades, the Margrit Mondavi Summer Concert Series has hosted many top-name musical acts such as Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald and Dave Brubeck.

“Jazz was the initial concept for the series, but over time it evolved into a mix of genres,” Magner said. “Mrs. Mondavi had a passion for the arts. The concert series was something she did as a way to bring the community together, and also to give back to the community.”

Over its 49-year history, the series has raised millions of dollars to support Napa Valley-based charitable music organizations. In keeping with this tradition, Robert Mondavi Winery will donate proceeds from this year’s ticket sales to the Napa Valley Unified School District’s music programs.

“It’s all about music feeding music,” Magner said.

In addition to the musical performances, guests can purchase dinner tickets to a family-style dinner presented by a culinary team led by Chef Jeff Mosher. Dinner tickets are limited to 240 guests for each concert.

Concert attendees can also enjoy food on the lawn from local vendors such as Cousins Maine Lobster, PICO Modern Taqueria, Ben & Jerry’s, and Vintage Sweet Shoppe.

“Ben & Jerry’s and Vintage Sweet Shoppers have been supporters of the concert series for a number of years,” Magner said. After each concert, Filipi’s Pizza Grotto will have pizza by the slice for sale in front of the winery for guests waiting for cabs, Uber and Lyft pickups.

“It’s going to be a really fun season,” Magner said. “We’ve got good energy and lots of talent. Both Gavin DeGraw and Brandi Carlile have performed at the concert series previously, as well as Vintage Trouble, the band opening up for Citizen Cope on July 7. The openers we have are all really talented bands, and I think there’s a lot of discovery from the opening talent we present.”

Intimacy helps make the Margrit Mondavi Summer Concert Series special, according to Magner. “It’s different in our venue because the artists are able to connect with people a lot more. It makes a big difference for the musicians.”

Compared to bigger festivals such as Coachella, Lollapalooza, and BottleRock, which are able to host big-name acts by drawing in thousands of people, the capacity at Robert Mondavi Winery is about 1,450. “To look out at the audience when it’s in full swing, people are having a good time singing and dancing with their friends. It’s very fulfilling to enjoy that.”

Tickets for July 7 featuring Citizen Cope with Vintage Trouble, and July 21 featuring X Ambassadors with Cobi are still available. Tickets for July 7 start at $65, and tickets for July 21 start at $95. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the concerts begin at 7 p.m.

Tickets for DeGraw and The California Honeydrops on June 30, Brandi Carlile on July 14, and Fitz and The Tantrums with The Mowglies on July 28 are sold out, although guests can find sold-out tickets for the concerts on Lyte, an online ticket exchange service. To learn more about the Margrit Mondavi Summer Concert Series at Robert Mondavi Winery, visit www.robertmondaviwinery.com/About-the-Series.

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