Gary John Guglielmo, a third-generation member of Santa Clara County’s oldest continuously operated family winery, died unexpectedly July 15 at his home in Post Falls, Idaho, according to Gena Guglielmo.
Along with his two brothers, George E. and Eugene (Gene), Gary helped expand and guide the family winery established in Morgan Hill by their Italian emigrant grandparents, Emilio and Emilia Guglielmo in 1925 and continued by his parents, reads a press release from Guglielmo Winery.
Gary was born April 26, 1956 in San Jose to George W. Guglielmo and Madeline M. (Sordello) Guglielmo. He grew up in Morgan Hill on his family’s winery and vineyard property on East Main Avenue. Gary was in the first graduating class of St. Catherine Elementary in Morgan Hill, attended Bellarmine Prep High school in San Jose, and graduated from the University of Nevada Reno in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
After graduation, Gary returned home to his family’s business to join his parents and his two brothers at Emilio Guglielmo Winery, Inc. Gary served as an integral part of the family winery, including his roles in sales and general management until his retirement in 2017, where he worked closely with his brothers to enlarge and enhance the national distribution network which introduced the family’s wines to a much broader audience across the nation.
They also focused on broadening and diversifying the winery’s visitor base by the creation and promotion of their Villa Emile Event Center and Piazza de Maddalena, which has served as host to many public, private and community oriented special events and weddings, the press release says.
The fourth generation of the family is currently involved in the daily winery operations, ensuring the family tradition will continue to thrive.
The Guglielmo family has consistently supported community events and causes, accumulating numerous awards and recognitions, including the Leadership Morgan Hill Excellence Award in 2004 for outstanding community leadership and the Italian American Heritage Foundation of San Jose, California, Business and Professional Achievement Award in 2004.
Guglielmo Winery was inducted into the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016, and was named the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year for 2016.
Gary had many hobbies and interests, including water and motor sports, heli-skiing, sprint car racing and scuba diving, the press release says. He was also a private pilot and a member of many local organizations, including Morgan Hill Fish and Game, FBI Club (Full Blooded Italians) and a parishioner at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill. He was a co-founder of Guglielmo’s Hope, Inc., a foundation created to help orphans around the world. He especially loved to travel with his family.
Gary is survived by his wife, Ginger Hendrickson Guglielmo, his children Gregorio, Giuliana and Gia Guglielmo—all of Post Falls, Idaho, and Cody Butler and wife Jasmine, Michael and Alexa Guglielmo all of Reno, Nevada. Also surviving are his brothers, George and wife Jan Guglielmo and Gene and wife Laura Guglielmo all of Morgan Hill, as well as eight nieces and nephews and two grandchildren.
“Gary was truly loved by many friends and everyone who had the pleasure of meeting and knowing him,” reads Guglielmo Winery’s press release.
A family service was held July 22 at St. George’s Catholic Church in Post Falls.
A celebration of life will be held at the family winery in Morgan Hill in the near future. Donations in his memory can be made to the Guglielmo’s Hope, Inc. 11947 W. Riverview Dr. Post Falls, ID. 83854.