gmhTODAY 02 gmhToday May June 2015 - Page 23

E very now and then in life we get to know someone who might be really rich, a corporate kingpin or a powerful political figure. More rarely, we might get to experience someone or something that is a legacy… Guglielmo Winery and the three brothers, Gene, Gary and George (photos above) might just fit that legacy ID! Three generations of the Guglielmo family have been producing wine at this Morgan Hill winery since 1925…90 years! Emilio Guglielmo was bon in northern Italy in 1883. He arrived at Ellis Island in 1909 and by 1910 had worked his way to San Francisco. By 1925 he and Emilia, his hometown sweet- heart and wife, had saved enough money and purchased fifteen acres in Morgan Hill, to establish Guglielmo Winery. In 1945 when Emilio’s son, George W. Guglielmo returned from World War II, the second generation took charge of the winery. These were years of growth, maturation and modernization. By 1969 the winery released its first premium varietal wine, an estate-bottled Petite Sirah. Until then the winery produced mostly jug wine that was distributed to Italian friends and families all over the Bay Area. At fourteen years of age, George W., even got a driver’s license to deliver wine with his dad. Some of the family’s old photos show bottling lines with gallon jugs. Today, George E. Guglielmo is the Winemaker/President. He completed a Fresno State University’s Viticulture and Enology program to supplement his knowledge gained from two generations of traditional winemaking. Gene Guglielmo, the middle son, is the Director of Sales. Gary Guglielmo, the youngest, is the General Manager. The Guglielmo Winery owns about 100 acres and bottles 150,000 cases a year. About 40,000 cases bear the Guglielmo name under three different labels: Guglielmo Private Reserve, TRÉ, and Emile’s, their oldest label. A walk around the Guglielmo Winery with one of the brothers is an adventure, full of stories and history. The G M H T O D A Y M A G A Z I N E brothers have memorialized some of this history with displays of early wine- making equipment and plaques dedicated to family achievements. The winery office building was once the original home of the first generation of Guglielmo’s. The large magnolia tree was planted by family. The basement houses massive vinage oak barrels, mementos of probation days and early winemaking adventures. The winery’s buildings show a progression of winemaking technology and growth. The wine tasting room, shop and heritage room are welcoming and historical. With the growth of California wineries and large distributors, it is more challenging for wineries to be profitable. Gene estimates that when he started working at the winery there were 200 wineries in California. Now there are 5,000! Each generation has looked for ways to adapt. These days, Guglielmo Winery has a large wine club and has become a very successful event center. Cindy Adams, Director of Communications & Retail Operations, notes that the winery is booked ahead 52 weeks for weddings! The tent structure and stage east of the office has become a major event venue for private, corporate, community and wine club events. The gift shop is open during the year and turns into a winter wonder- land boutique during the holidays. Locals are treated to a wonderful Wednesday night music series. Wine club members have lavish and fun filled events. The Winery will celebrate the 90th anniversary with a Black Tie Gala on September 12, 2015. Between now and then staff are planning something special each month. Check the website for details. A 90-year history through three generations is a unique and legendary story…and Guglielmo Winery is a community treasure. Thank you Emilio and Emilia, George W. and Madeline, brothers George E, Gene and Gary…and all the other family, friends and supporters who have made this legend a reality. MAY / JUNE 2015 gmhtoday.com 23