Vincent Indelicato, the former president and CEO of what has become a powerhouse in the California wine world, died on December, 17, 2017 in Modesto, California. He was 84 years old.
Vincent’s parents, Gaspare and Caterina Indelicato, emigrated from Sicily to the U.S. in 1912. A dozen years later, they bought a small dairy farm in California’s Central Valley. Knowing nothing about cows, they planted vines and began what is now considered one of the largest wine producers in the country.
Their business thrived during Prohibition, as they shipped grapes to home winemakers, many of them fellow Italians, on the East Coast, and later filled the jugs of locals.
Vince, as he was known, and his brothers Frank and Anthony, worked alongside their parents. The three took over the business in 1960. After earning a degree in economics from the University of California, at Berkeley, Vince started working in sales division of the company.
The three brothers together expanded the family business, buying the San Bernabe Vineyard in Monterey County and they developed the Clay Station Vineyard in Lodi.
In 1973, Delicato Cellars debuted as a wine brand and was first known as Sam Jasper Winery, at a time when the family continued primarily selling grapes and making contract wines for others.
Now run by the family’s third-generation, with a fourth in training, Delicato is among America’s top 10 wineries in terms of volume and acreage farmed. The company sells some 10 million cases annually, and their brands include Gnarly Head, Black Stallion Estate, Noble Vines, Z. Alexander Brown, Brazin and Bota Box.
“My uncle Vince has guided the family and Delicato Family Vineyards into the company it is today,” said Chris Indelicato, the current CEO. “We will miss his unparalleled experience, gentle spirit and fierce independence, and we’ll really miss him. End of an era.”
Vince was predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Dorothy, who died in May. He is survived by his children Marie Mathews, Robert Indelicato, and grandchildren Stephen Mathews, Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato, Katie Bloudoff-Indelicato and Kyle Bloudoff-Indelicato.