Margaret Duckhorn, founder of Duckhorn Vineyards and highly respected member of the California wine scene, "passed away peacefully at her home in St. Helena" on Saturday at the age of 83, according to the official announcement.
Duckhorn, who was born in New York state, got to know wine, especially from the Mosel, during a study stay in Germany and was fascinated by the matter from then on. With her then husband Dan, she founded Duckhorn Vineyards in 1976. They bottled the first single-varietal Merlot in Napa Valley. In addition to her job as a nurse in the Berkeley Public Health Service, she worked at the winery, sorted grapes and, unlike many other winery founders, was fully involved in the day-to-day operations. She was also one of the founding members of Women for WineSense, a past board member of the American Institute of Wine & Food, past president of the Napa Valley Vintners Association and past board chair of the California Wine Institute.
Margaret Duckhorn was deeply committed to her community and worked to protect and promote the region. "This valley is our home," she once said. "We live here. Our children live here. We know how important it is to take care of this remarkable place and give back to the community that has given us so much." Her death is mourned by more than just the Napa Valley wine scene.
(al / Source: decanter, drinksbusiness; Photo: Duckhorn Vineyards)