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Frederic Constant

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Frederic Constant Obituary
Frederic Woodbridge Constant

Mar. 17, 1942 – Mar. 26, 2014

Frederic (Freddy) Woodbridge Constant died Wednesday at age 72 following a valiant fight against cancer.

The bold and charismatic Freddy and his wife of 32 years, Mary Fairbanks Constant, founded Napa Valley's renowned CONSTANT-Diamond Mountain Vineyard in 1993, building it into a critically acclaimed producer of estate grown and bottled Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah. Together they undertook an award-winning restoration of the original Monte Vista Estate, with its 1890 farmhouse, outbuildings and historic vineyards discovered in the forested hillsides.  In two decades they developed the property into an exceptional mountain top winery estate, including winery facilities and a unique barrel storage cave that led visitors into the new residence , The Peak, which was built in 2001 in collaboration with architect Howard Backen.

The only son of Frank and Elizabeth Constant, Freddy was born on March 17, 1942 at the Duke hospital during which time his father was a physics professor at Duke University. He was a graduate of the Deerfield Academy and went on to earn a BA at Princeton University in 1964 and an MBA from Columbia in 1966. It was during a summertime job between years at Princeton that Freddy started a career in broadcasting ,first as a part time disk jockey  at KDOT in Reno, NV. After Columbia he began developing radio stations in mid markets throughout the United States. He owned and operated several radio groups, including stations in Hartford, CT, Honolulu, HI, Portland and Eugene, OR, Boise, ID, Santa Fe, NM and Reno, NV. Freddy founded Wine Country Radio in Santa Rosa, CA including KRSH, which he sold in 2001 to devote his energies to CONSTANT-Diamond Mountain Vineyard.

Freddy had a lifelong passion for architecture and historical buildings. Many of his radio stations were in buildings that he had restored and which were subsequently placed on the National Register of Historical Places. His final achievement in this endeavor was the placement of the 1890 farmhouse at the top of Diamond Mountain on both the National and California Registers, including the historical vineyard (Monte Vista) at that same address in 2013.

A dedicated athlete and world traveler, Freddy loved tennis, skiing, sailing and hiking, a passion he first shared with his late father.

Freddy is survived by his wife, Mary Fairbanks Constant, his son, Charles Constant (Joy), His granddaughter, Chloe, and his sisters, Janice Constant Shea (Speed) and Ann Constant Cohen (Dan).

A celebration of his life will be held this summer.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to The V Foundation Wine Celebration


176 Main Street, Suite D, St Helena, CA 94574

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Apr. 6, 2014
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