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My Favorite Funny Winemaker Passes Away

By Val Zavala

About ten years ago I went up to wine country near Paso Robles and met a winemaker, Charlie Poalillo.  He was such a kick that I took out my phone and did a quick video interview with him.  This week his daughter called with some sad news. Charlie had passed away. I was so sorry to hear that. But it gave us a chance to dig into our archives and post this video again. Check it out. He’ll have you chuckling away while you learn about wines.

I especially laughed when Charlie told me how to keep a marriage alive. (Watch the video to get his secret).  You’ll also see an old photo of him and his wife stomping grapes together in their bare feet. When I asked him if that violated health codes he said, “Alcohol kills all germs.”

He really loved his wife. It is somehow appropriate that he died in the vineyard at the spot where his wife’s ashes had been buried. His daughter said they found him with a smile on his face. Now that’s love.

Though I only spent about an hour with him, I remember him dearly as one of those special people who enjoyed good friends and family, good wine and a good laugh.

Cheers to you, Charlie Poalillo.

 

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