Tribute to Edio Defino from Lexi Boeger of Boeger Winery

by Placerville Newswire / Jan 25, 2017 / comments

Edio Delfino
Jan. 3, 1930 – Jan. 19, 2017

The El Dorado County wine industry and local wine making families suffered a great loss this week, both professionally and personally, with the passing of Ed Delfino- the man most responsible for the rebirth of wine in our county. Ed was appointed Agricultural Commissioner in 1960 in the midst of a catastrophic pear decline, a crisis that threatened to cripple the agricultural industry of the county since pears were the predominant crop. Ed ingeniously looked both forward, and backward. Drawing from historic accounts of vibrant wine grape production in the area during the gold rush- Ed asked the question that every local winery here today can thank him for: Can we grow those grapes here again? He, along with Dick Bethell, the Farm Advisor, planted experimental vineyards and partnered with UC Davis to find the answer, and it was a resounding YES.

For us personally- it was Ed who opened the door and in his big, jovial, heart-warming (and persistent) way, invited the first wine makers to take the risk and cast their fortunes into an unknown and out-of-the-way wine region. In the words of my father, Greg "His enthusiasm was infectious, his confidence unbounded, his help unlimited". If not for Ed, we might have ended up in Napa, making Cabernet and feeling jealous of all the fun, exciting, unusual wines that those renegades up in El Dorado get to experiment with, along side their equally independent Apple Hill farms (also thanks to Ed), everyone supporting each other, helping each other, pushing each other to realize the vision that Ed saw so long ago. As my Dad will be telling all of Ed's family and friends at what will likely be the most attended funeral in all of El Dorado County history this Friday,"I have known Ed for over 45 years, both as a friend and a fellow farmer, but also as an inspiration, innovator, motivator and agricultural activist. But most important was that he was a visionary; he had a vision for El Dorado County-- and that vision was a viable, vibrant, agricultural economy and community that would be the centerpiece and showcase of the County."

Well....You definitely achieved that Ed. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you. And we will miss you dearly. 

Lexi Boeger