Mourning the loss of Gary Guglielmo

Youngest of third generation

UNEXPECTED LOSS Gary Guglielmo died on July 15 at his home in Idaho. Photo courtesy of Guglielmo Family Winery

Santa Clara County’s oldest continuously operated family winery since 1925, Guglielmo Family Winery, is reeling from the sudden loss of Gary John Guglielmo, the youngest of the third-generation to helm the business.

Gary, who was born in San Jose on April 26, 1956, to George and Madeline (Sordello) Guglielmo, unexpectedly passed away July 15 at his home in Post Falls, Idaho. He graduated from St. Catherine Elementary in Morgan Hill, attended Bellarmine Prep High School in San Jose, and graduated from the University of Nevada Reno in 1984.

A man of vision and action, Gary, along with brothers, George E. and Eugene (Gene), confidently led the winery as GM into the 21st century with bold moves in sales, marketing and distribution, introducing the brand to a wider national audience. Gary saw the wisdom in creating the Santa Clara Wine Trail as a way to increase tourism to the region, and was a major supporter of the signage effort. He also recognized the importance of events, expanding the Villa Emile Event Center and Piazza de Maddalena to accommodate diverse needs.

Gary retired in 2017, after which the fourth generation stepped in to assist in daily winery operations. They have bright plans for the future.

The winery has now reopened for outdoor bottle service and wines by the glass, by reservation only, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11am-5pm. No pets. Outside food is allowed, but please bus your tables. Reservations are for one hour: the last reservation is 4pm.

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Laura Ness is an accomplished freelance writer offering travel tips and commentary on the California wine industry.