The one time I met Louis J. Foppiano, a true icon of Sonoma County winemaking, he was a sprightly 74.
He had been growing grapes and making wine virtually his entire life. When he was just 14, his father died, and that left Foppiano to run the familyâ€™s vineyards with his mother.
It was that connection to the land that really defined Foppiano. I learned that when he told me that he had never been much of a wine drinker – perhaps a glass per day – rarely more, and sometimes none at all.
Hard to believe, but that was more than 25 years ago. Last Thanksgiving, Foppiano turned 100, and there was a big celebration held at the Healdsburg Golf Club.
According to reports, Foppiano had continued to prune vines until he was well into his 90s. He had always been a hard worker – a characteristic of his generation – but he had never considered working in the vineyards to be “real work.” When you love what you do, itâ€™s a recipe for a happy… and long… life.
As for that one-glass-a-day policy, it certainly lends credence to the belief that moderate consumption of wine contributes to better overall health and longevity.
Look at it this way: Louis J. Foppiano outlived exercise-and-fitness guru Jack LaLanne.