Eugene "Gene" Cuneo

Farewell to a long-respected California winemaking pioneer.



January 4, 2007

Eugene "Gene" Cuneo, a pioneering Dry Creek Valley grapegrower whose father, John, planted some of the region's oldest Zinfandel vines, died January 3, at the age of 94.

Cuneo belonged to the generation of Italian-Americans that established Sonoma County as a powerhouse in California viticulture and winemaking. Among the Cuneo family's oldest friends were famous wine names like Seghesio and Foppiano, still heave hitters in the California wine industry.

In 1963, Cuneo co-founded the California North Coast Grape Growers Association, now part of the California Association of Winegrape Growers, the state's leading grapegrowing group. He also was prominent in establishing the North Coast as one of California's earliest American Viticultural Areas. The Cuneo-Saini Vineyard, co-owned with his cousin, Eugene "Si" Siani (who died in October), has long been a respected source of Zinfandel for local wineries, especially Mazzocco.

Although little known to the wine-drinking public, Cuneo was a much loved presence to his peers. "He was one of the great pioneers of our industry," said Pete Seghesio, from Seghesio Winery, in Healdsburg. Seghesio's family bought grapes from Cuneo for decades. "He did so much for Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County and growers."


Have an opinion or question? Email us.


More Online Exclusive articles:

Edit Module
Edit Module

Related Articles

James Beard Foundation Announces Award Semi-Finalists

Plus Jim Beam faces lawsuit, and other news and notes in the world of wine, beer and spirits.

Cab Reigns King at the Record-Breaking Premiere Napa Valley Auction

The prestigious event raised $6 million from 225 lots.

40 Top-Rated Wines Under $40

These recently rated and diverse bottlings are guilt-free indulgences that don't hurt your wallet.

California's Best Syrahs

These five regions of the Central Coast are doing the Northern Rhône’s star variety right.
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit Module

Subscribe

You can unsubscribe at any time. View an example of our newsletter.

Edit Module
Edit Module

Shop

Edit Module
>
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit Module

Related Web Articles