Wine Giant Frank Indelicato Passes

Delicato Family Vineyards mourns the loss of second generation family member Frank Indelicato, Senior.

Published on: Aug 1, 2012

Frank Indelicato, Sr. beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and employer passed away on Sunday, July 22 in Stockton, the age of 87.

Frank Indelicato, Sr. along with his brothers Anthony and Vincent, transformed a small vineyard planted in 1924 by their father Gaspare and Uncle Sebastiano Luppino, into one of the most successful wine companies in California.

In 1988, the brothers purchased the largest contiguous vineyard property in the United States, San Bernabe Vineyard, located in Monterey County. Over the next two decades, the three worked tirelessly to improve the quality of grapes grown at San Bernabe, eventually replanting the original vineyard using grape clones, root stocks and varietals better suited to Monterey's cool climate.  In addition to San Bernabe Vineyard, the brothers developed Clay Station Vineyard in the foothills northeast of Lodi.

Frank Indelicato, Sr. PRNewsFoto/Delicato Family Vineyards photo
Frank Indelicato, Sr. PRNewsFoto/Delicato Family Vineyards photo

The vision of Frank, Sr., Anthony and Vincent Indelicato reached beyond the vineyards into the wine cellar. The three greatly expanded the family winery in Manteca, installing the latest winemaking technologies and building an additional winery at San Bernabe.  These actions fostered the creation of wine brands that were successfully distributed in the US as well as many international markets.

Frank Indelicato, Sr. was born on April 6, 1925 in French Camp, Calif. He spent his childhood working with his father and brothers in Delicato's Manteca cellars and vineyards. He attended the University of California at Berkeley and graduated in 1947 with a Bachelors of Science degree. Indelicato, Sr. then returned to the family business where he worked for over six decades. Over the course of his 65 years with Delicato Family Vineyards, he worked nearly every position from vineyard manager to winemaker to accountant all the while working hand in hand with his brothers.

This is the Delicato Family Vineyards Logo. PRNewsFoto/Delicato Family Vineyards photo
This is the Delicato Family Vineyards Logo. PRNewsFoto/Delicato Family Vineyards photo

Even when Indelicato, Sr. handed over the day to day operations to the third generation at age 83, he remained active in the business, going to the office daily and serving as a member of the Delicato Family Vineyards' Board of Directors. "People ask me when I'm going to retire," he once said. "I don't fish, I don't hunt, this is my life. I enjoy it."

"Uncle Frank was an incredible human being who always encouraged us to work hard together," says CEO and President Chris Indelicato. "I credit him with teaching our generation about life's challenges and helping guide the winery to success over the years. His positive, upbeat nature will be greatly missed."

Frank Indelicato, Sr. is survived by his wife, Alice Indelicato, brother Vincent Indelicato, sister Frances Sciabica, sons Frank Indelicato, Jr. and Michael Indelicato, daughter Cheryl Indelicato Hoover, seven grandchildren, two great grandchildren as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Frank Indelicato, Sr.'s name to Shriners Hospital of Sacramento, 2425 Stockton Boulevard, Sacramento.

Currently, Delicato owns vineyards across notable California winegrowing regions including Napa Valley, Lodi and Monterey. Vineyards from these renowned appellations provide fruit for the Delicato wine portfolio which includes Gnarly Head, Noble Vines, Black Stallion Estate Winery, HandCraft, Bota Box, Massimo, Irony, Twisted and Domino. To date, the wines of Delicato Family Vineyards are distributed nationally as well as in 60 markets around the world.

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