Madeleine & Robert Mount, ACBS National Event, August 2017. Gompertz photo
written by Wayne Mooers
Madeleine Mount is the loving wife of the late Robert A. Mount, December 1943 ~ October 2020. Together, among many other moments, they enjoyed 54 years of marriage, their family, and many memorable boating smiles. And together, they opened their Boatique Winery in 2015, featuring a presentation of their love of fine wines and Robert’s classic boat collection for all to enjoy.
MADELEINE is also the boat’s name. She is center stage at the winery – a sparkling 29’ 2011 Van Dam custom build – a “gentleman” styled 1920-era racer model, which Robert Mount secretly commissioned Van Dam to build honoring his wife Madeleine. Both Madeleines, the gift and the boat-building story bond many special people and two classic love stories together. Enjoy.
Wife Madeleine remembers… with a tear in her eye... “Robert and I were good friends all through our Junior and Napa High School days, yet we didn’t date until our senior year of college! During high school, Robert was working summers at the nearby Lake Berryessa Resort pumping gas and all sorts of odd jobs around the water. He loved the water, water skiing, the beautiful wooden boats of the ’50 & 60’s era…. and we became great friends; after our college graduations we were married in 1966. He was always shy, quiet, and a gentleman to the very end. Robert went on to pursue his microbiology master’s degree and then started his clinical laboratory business focusing on toxicology. I was teaching elementary school and followed my passion for developing childhood education programs for the next 33 years after earning my master’s degree too. “Our three children Monica, Aaron & Kimberly quickly came along, and our family boating outings were important bonding times for us all on the many waterways of Northern California. Our young family boating times went by so fast it seems, and yet it all comes back full circle again as our children and 8 grandchildren are now still close and are creating their own boating smiles. And so our story continues. “Over the years Robert was dedicated and successful in his lab career and developed with his colleagues innovative new sample testing techniques, which became industry standards. In 2006 he sold his Redwood Toxicology Laboratory (then the largest toxicology lab in the country), yet retained a consultant position, and thereafter continued collecting his own “old boat samples” and growing grapes at that time on our Santa Rosa home’s property, – two passions we always enjoyed together.
Madeleine meets MADELEINE. “I was astonished!”
“And so our boating smile times raced by, and then in August of 2011 Robert and I casually walked the docks of the
Concours d’ Elegance at Lake Tahoe. He always loved all these classic boats. I realized how lucky I was and how much I
appreciated him too. We stopped in line with the dock crowd flow to admire a new entry; a sparkling 29’ long round shaped hull design named MADELEINE. And then it hit me; I’m Madeleine! As I said earlier, Robert was always a shy and a quiet guy, and he was secretly “quiet” to that very moment about having Van Dam, for the prior year, build this piece of mahogany boat art just for me! I was simply astonished! I will also never forget those later moments on our maiden cruise on the lake in the morning sun, and then, accepting the “Best Contemporary Boat” award at the dinner that evening. Those were special times with my very dear, dear Robert.
Madeleine also credits ACBS friends and Wood & Glory
“Ironically, our formal entry into the winery business “just happened” also in 2011 when we attended the ACBS “Wood
& Glory Event” at Clear Lake, California. This annual June classic boat gathering got rained out that year, so Robert & I took an unplanned car ride into the Lake County country side, turned right instead of left that day, and discovered up on the hill an old home with 54 beautiful acres of vineyard property for sale. Our dream came true! We decided to make it our winery along with our antique wood boats displayed for all to see – it would be named Boatique Winery – a perfect combo of our passions”. “Robert and I have always enjoyed our classic boating friends and outings with them. Likewise, we are pleased to share our winery with our ACBS friends, and with due respect to all who helped us, at this time I especially recognize and appreciate Ralph & Bonnie Wallen, Jim & Gail Robello, John & Mary Lahti along with Wayne & Susan Mooers for their many contributions to our winery and boating smiles. I sincerely thank you all and look forward to boating with you again in our days ahead!”