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04/19/2016

Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association (TVWA) introduces the first Hall of Fame at the 33rd Annual Grape Day one day conference on April 21, 2016 at South Coast Winery in Temecula, California. The inductees honored are 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.

About Grape Day
Grape Day is an educational conference for current and aspiring vintners Grape Day 2016 will focus on viticulture and enology issues, such as the effects of the California drought on grape-growing and best practices for disease and wildlife management in the vineyards. Open to the public, Grape Day routinely draws attendees from throughout Southern California and beyond, bringing wine industry professionals and agriculture enthusiasts together in a shared effort to continually improve the growing, production and selling of quality wine.

Founded in 1983 as a way to help Temecula Valley's nascent winegrowing community improve its knowledge of viticulture, Grape Day has since evolved into the region's premier wine industry conference, introducing the latest research, methods and technology, and encouraging a collaborative spirit and dialogue within its membership and the broader California wine industry.

About the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association
Temecula Valley is the largest and most commercially successful winegrowing region in the South Coast AVA, the viticultural zone spanning more than 2 million acres from Riverside County to the San Diego border. The Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association has long served as a steward of the Southern California wine community. Comprising 35 wineries and more than 60 winegrowers, the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association is a nonprofit regional organization dedicated to increasing awareness of the quality wines and wine grapes grown in the Temecula Valley and South Coast appellations. Established in 1984, the Temecula Valley AVA consists of 33,000 acres, of which approximately 1,300 acres are currently planted to commercial vineyards. Known as Southern California Wine Country, the Temecula Valley is located in Riverside County just one hour from San Diego, Orange County and Palm Springs, and 90 minutes from Los Angeles.

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