Image via milieu magazine
I heard the shocking news of Ann Marie Borghese’s death last Friday. I wish I had been able to talk to her before she died; I lost my mother to cancer last year, and my father 17 years ago. Maybe I could have been of some help. And now I did not get the chance to tell Marco how sorry I was to hear of his loss. And their children have to deal with two crushing blows so close together. We’re all so sad about this. Steve Bate of the Long Island Wine Council has put some of the feelings about this tragedy together in his release below.
The Long Island wine region is profoundly saddened by the passing of two of our very dear colleagues over the past week. Just days after hearing that Ann Marie Borghese quietly lost her courageous battle with cancer, we learned of the sudden loss of her husband, Marco Borghese, in a tragic car accident.
Marco and Ann Marie joined our region after purchasing Long Island’s founding vineyard from the Hargraves in 1999. They quickly established themselves as vital members of our industry and the community.
Just four years after moving to the North Fork, Marco was elected president of the Long Island Wine Council. With his European charm and relaxed elegance, he was instrumental in leading the organization through some difficult, transitional times. Recognizing his important role on behalf of both Long Island and the broader New York State wine industry, the New York Wine & Grape Foundation awarded Marco its highest honor in 2005. The Foundation’s “Unity Award” was established in 1990 to recognize “individuals who have volunteered their time, shown exceptional leadership, and achieved recognized results in building industry cooperation and unity.”
Ann Marie was equally indispensable to the region. Vivacious and intelligent, she actively contributed to industry marketing strategies and activities while tirelessly promoting the family’s wines and the North Fork across the New York metropolitan area. She graciously devoted significant time, expertise and resources to many local community organizations and causes.
The Long Island Wine Council and its members will greatly miss our good friends Ann Marie and Marco, and we join together in sending our deepest condolences to Allegra, Giovanni, Fernando and the entire Borghese family.