Pioneering winemaker Robert Mondavi, who helped put Californian Cabernets and Chardonnays on the world's wine-tasting map, died Friday at the age of 94.

The Robert Mondavi Winery, which Mondavi founded in 1966, said in a statement that the famed wine connoisseur died peacefully on Friday at his Napa Valley home, north of San Francisco. Funeral services will be private.

The entrepreneur was acclaimed by industry journal Wine Spectator as one of the most influential and admired winemakers in California history.

Modavi winery was sold to Constellation Brands Inc. in 2004 for $1.36 billion, though Mondavi remained publicly tied to the operation.

He was born in Minnesota, on June 18, 1913. His parents, immigrants from Italy, had settled there. He graduated from Stanford University in 1937 with a business and economics degree.

Mondavi worked with his father at Charles Krug Winery but left in 1965 after disagreements with his younger brother, Peter.