Napa’s Delicato Family Vineyards loses company leader

Vincent (Vince) Indelicato (Courtesy Photo)

NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL, NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Family-owned Delicato Family Vineyard of Napa announced Vincent (Vince) Indelicato, who took over the winery with his brothers from his father and uncle, has died at age 84.

“My Uncle Vince has guided the family and Delicato Family Vineyards into the company it is today,” commented Chris Indelicato, president and CEO of Delicato Family Vineyards. “We will miss his unparalleled experience, gentle spirit, and fierce independence.”

The announcement stated that Vincent Indelicato died on Sunday in Modesto.

Born at San Joaquin County Hospital on Sept. 2, 1933 to Gaspare and Caterina Indelicato, Vince spent his childhood working in the Manteca cellars and vineyards of Delicato Family Vineyards, founded by his father Gaspare Indelicato and his uncle Sebastiano Luppino, who started growing grapes in 1924.

Vince and his brothers Frank and Anthony took over the family business in 1960. Vince graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1955, and spent his life working for the company alongside Dorothy, his wife of 62 years, who passed away in May of this year. The company said that during his career, Vince held numerous roles in the family business from the first sales position to president and CEO. Vince joined the company board in 1973 and continued to grow the company with his brothers. In 1988, they purchased San Bernabe Vineyard in Monterey County, California, and then developed Clay Station Vineyard in the foothills northeast of Lodi expanded the family winery in Manteca; and built an additional winery at San Bernabe.

Now managed by the fourth generation of the Indelicato family, Delicato has grown to rank among the top ten wineries in the United States in volume and farms over 3,800 acres of family-owned vineyards including Lodi, San Bernabe, Santa Lucia Highlands and Napa. Delicato sells approximately 10 million cases a year. Brands include Gnarly Head, Noble Vines, Bota Box, Z. Alexander Brown, and Black Stallion Estate Winery in Napa Valley.

Acquisitions in the past year have included Blossom Hill Winery on California’s Central Coast, picking up growth capacity of 4 million more cases annually.

The Napa-based company said at the time that the acquisition from Australia-based Treasury Wine Estates, announced April 5, was part of Delicato’s ongoing move to higher-priced wines — an industry trend commonly called premiumization — and growth strategy. Part of that premium shift was the strategic investment earlier this year in Sonoma’s V2 Wine Group, which has a portfolio of luxury-tier brands.

CEO Indelicato said at a Business Journal event in 2016 that the company’s future growth was built on four pillars – people, brands and consumer focus, capital spending and balanced growth via acquisition.

Vince is survived by his children Marie Mathews and husband Kim, Robert Indelicato and wife Leslie; and grandchildren Stephen Mathews, Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato, Katie Bloudoff-Indelicato, and Kyle Bloudoff-Indelicato. He enjoyed bowling, racquetball, discussing politics and drinking coffee with his friends.