Ernie Digardi passed away on November 10, 2019 at the age of 97. He was born April 4, 1922 in Oakland, California to Joseph and Anna Digardi and they lived in Oakland until 1933 when the family moved to the Digardi Ranch in Martinez. There they reopened the family winery at the close of Prohibition, and this began his 50-year career in the wine industry. Ernie graduated from Alhambra High School in 1940 and continued working in the family winery. As a student at UC Davis, he studied Enology & Viticulture. Ernie married the love of his life Dorothy in 1944 and they began raising their family. In 1954, he moved the family to St. Helena where he worked at various wineries in Northern California, most notably at Beaulieu Winery as assistant winemaker under Andre Tschelecheff in the 1950’s and 60’s, and later as Plant Manager at Inglenook Winery. In retirement, he and Dorothy enjoyed traveling the country, playing golf, and spending as much time with grandchildren as possible. As they aged, they returned to Napa to be closer to family. In 2017, he lost his beloved Dorothy. As he often reminded his children, Ernie was proud of his Italian heritage as he was taught by his immigrant father, Joseph. Ernie was the last Digardi of his generation, and although he didn’t quite reach his goal of making it to 100, he lived a long and happy life. Ever the optimist, he was a natural at assuring his wife, children, and grandchildren that they were loved and well cared for. Dad was always front and center for his children, whether chaperoning dances, providing transportation to events, or coaching youth sports. He is much missed by all who knew him. Ernie is survived by his children Dave (Pam), Dan (Kim), and Denise Moffett (Bob), as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. At his request there will be no service.
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