Richard Mendelson


A native Floridian, Mendelson went to Harvard and then fell in love with wine while doing post-graduate work at Oxford. From there, he immersed himself in Old World wine culture and history during a year-long apprenticeship at a prestigious winery in Burgundy. Fascinated by the crucial intersection of wine and law, Mendelson earned his law degree from Stanford and then headed for the exciting new frontier for American wine and food: the Napa Valley. Mendelson joined Napa’s leading law firm, Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty, and over the next three decades he helped vintners, grape-growers and policy makers evolve a New World system of appellations, one that promotes Napa’s emerging wine  industry and at the same time builds  and protects the valley’s agricultural and cultural wealth. In the process, he earned a reputation as one of the preeminent wine lawyers in America. Mendelson continues to practice law and directs the program on Wine Law and Policy at UC Berkeley Law School. He and his wife Marilyn live in Napa.