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Temecula Valley Winegrowers Hall of Fame

April 29th, 2016

brushed gold

The Temecula Valley Winegrowers were excited to introduce the first Hall of Fame inductees at the 33rd Annual Grape Day conference on April 21, 2016 at South Coast Winery in Temecula, California. The inductees honored were Vincenzo and Audrey Cilurzo, and John Moramarco.

“The recent passing of wine country pioneer Vince Cilurzo prompted the TVWA Board of Directors to consider ways we could honor his memory,” stated Phil Baily, TVWA Board member. “In discussing this, we realized that other pioneers should be recognized, most notably Audrey Cilurzo, because Vince and Audrey partnered in their accomplishments. John Moramorco was unquestionably the key leader of our rise in the 1960s and for the following thirty-plus years.”

Vincenzo and Audrey Cilurzo planted the first commercial wine grape vineyard in the Temecula Valley. They established Cilurzo Vineyard and Winery as one of the first wineries in the Temecula Valley. As husband and wife, they championed the growing of red wine grapes, most notably Petite Sirah. They offered help, encouragement and support to all the wineries that followed them.

John Moramarco planted one of the first commercial wine grape vineyards in the Temecula Valley in 1968 while working for Brookside Winery. In the late 1980s his efforts helped Riverside County create the citrus/vineyard zone which preserved agriculture and laid the foundation for the remarkable growth of wineries over the ensuing years. Moramarco also worked to mobilize Riverside County, the City of Temecula, State and Federal efforts to successfully combat the spread of Pierce’s Disease in Temecula Valley vineyards.

Future inductees will be chosen from submissions that meet specified criteria, which will be announced in the coming months.

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