Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Riverhead News Review: Marco di Borghese Dies in Car Crash

This I awful news. Following on the heels of Ann Marie di Borghese's passing, this is very sad for the entire east coast winery establishment, and especially for the Long Island wine country. I had dinner with them once, and they were incredibly nice folks. They loved being in wine country. Such a sad, sad loss. - C. DeVito, editor
Castello di Borghese winery owner dies in Wading River crash
by Grant Parpan and Michael White 
Riverhead News
06/30/2014 10:19 PM
Marco Borghese during a tour of his Cutchogue vineyard in 2012. (Credit: Samantha Brix, file)
Marco Borghese during a tour of his Cutchogue vineyard in 2012. (Credit: Samantha Brix, file)

Marco Borghese, a pillar of Long Island’s winemaking community, was killed in a car crash on Route 25A in Wading River Monday after failing to navigate a curve and swerving head-on into an oncoming truck, Riverhead Town police said.
Mr. Borghese, 70, of Cutchogue, the owner of Castello di Borghese Vineyard & Winery, was transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead where he died, police said.  His death comes just days after his wife, Ann Marie Borghese, 56, also died.
Jamesport Vineyards owner Ron Goerler Jr. called it a sad day for the local wine community.

“It’s tough news for all of us,” he said in an email.
Police investigate the scene of the crash. (Credit: AJ Ryan, Stringer News Service)

Police investigate the scene of the crash. (Credit: AJ Ryan, Stringer News Service)

Long Island Wine Council executive director Steve Bate said in an email that he was “shocked beyond words” by the news of his colleague’s death.

Mr. Borghese was operating a 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee eastbound about 3:30 p.m. when he swerved and struck  a westbound 2007 International Harvester Delivery Truck, police said. The driver of the truck, which was owned by Southern Wine and Spirits in Syosset, and his passenger were not injured.
A portion of Route 25A was closed for more than five hours as police investigated the crash, said a witness at the crash scene, where a strong smell of gasoline still filled the air after 9 p.m.

The Borgheses had purchased the winery, Long Island’s first, in 1999 when it was called Hargrave Vineyards. Mr. Borghese, a former president of the Long Island Wine Council, managed the vineyard and served as winemaker at their winery. Ms. Borghese, who assisted in the winemaking, handled marketing and advertising.

The couple came to Long Island from Philadelphia, but the Borghese family has noble roots dating back to ninth century Italy, according to their winery website. Mr. Borghese, a prince who did not use the title, first moved to the U.S. in 1969, according to a media bio the winery had previously issued.
Ann Marie Borghese (Credit: Long Island Wine Press, file)
Ann Marie Borghese (Credit: Long Island Wine Press, file)

The couple married in 1985 and settled in Philadelphia, where Mr. Borghese, a graduate of the University of Rome, ran an international import/export business and his wife, a graduate of the University of Delaware, established her own jewelry salon, the bio reads.
They were the parents of three children.

The Borgheses first trip to the North Fork was on Thanksgiving 1998, they previously told the Long Island Wine Press.
The longtime wine lovers — Mr. Borghese’s relatives owned a vineyard in Florence for generations and Ms. Borghese studied French wine in Paris — at once fell in love with Long Island’s land of grapevines.

“We came here to taste — not to shop for a vineyard,” Mr. Borghese said in the 2012 Wine Press interview.
While he had grown up on a farm in Italy, he had no experience in a vineyard prior to purchasing his winery.

“I had to learn on the job,” he said.
The business recently expanded with a second tasting room in Aquebogue.

Additional details of Ms. Borghese’s death and funeral arrangements for the couple have not yet been released.

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ADDITIONAL NOTE: from Steve Bate: Long Island Wine Council

Long Island wine community mourns loss of Ann Marie and Marco Borghese
The Long Island wine region is profoundly saddened by the passing of two of our very dear colleagues over the past week. Just days after hearing that Ann Marie Borghese quietly lost her courageous battle with cancer, we learned of the sudden loss of her husband, Marco Borghese, in a tragic car accident. 
Marco and Ann Marie joined our region after purchasing Long Island's founding vineyard from the Hargraves in 1999. They quickly established themselves as vital members of our industry and the community. 
Just four years after moving to the North Fork, Marco was elected president of the Long Island Wine Council. With his European charm and relaxed elegance, he was instrumental in leading the organization through some difficult, transitional times. Recognizing his important role on behalf of both Long Island and the broader New York State wine industry, the New York Wine & Grape Foundation awarded Marco its highest honor in 2005. The Foundation's "Unity Award" was established in 1990 to recognize "individuals who have volunteered their time, shown exceptional leadership, and achieved recognized results in building industry cooperation and unity."
Ann Marie was equally indispensable to the region. Vivacious and intelligent, she actively contributed to industry marketing strategies and activities while tirelessly promoting the family's wines and the North Fork across the New York metropolitan area. She graciously devoted significant time, expertise and resources to many local community organizations and causes.  
The Long Island Wine Council and its members will greatly miss our good friends Ann Marie and Marco, and we join together in sending our deepest condolences to Allegra, Giovanni, Fernando and the entire Borghese family.
Contact:               Steven L. Bate, Executive Director
                                (631) 722 2220; info@liwines.com