Yesterday I learned through a news alert from Wine Business that my friend and colleague Patty Bogle has passed away.

Patty was the matriarch of Bogle Vineyards in Clarksburg, and she passed away this past Friday, February 11, 2011.

This past Friday, as I was packing up Petite Sirahs for our Dark & Delicious event this coming Friday, I was thinking of contacting her children. I thought about that because I knew this day was coming sooner rather than later, and I felt there was something that I must do for Patty.

Patty’d been battling leukemia since her diagnosis. I was with her in heart and mind since she learned of her acute myeloid leukemia in 2007. I followed her through her Care Pages, and all of her trips to Texas for treatments… Always holding on, because she had new grandchildren who came into her life, and she wanted to love them as only a grandparent would know how.

Today, I got my last Care Page Notice. It read:

Sad News

On behalf of the Bogle and Roncoroni families, we are so sad to share that Mom passed away at home, surrounded by her family, on Friday, February 11, 2011.

Unfortunately, the remission that she had achieved after her last stem cell transplant in January 2010 only lasted a few months, and she found out the leukemia had returned in September.

Mom spent her last months working on genealogy projects, organizing the family history and spending time with her kids and grandkids, which now number nine. She loved them all dearly.

We would like to thank everyone for all their love and support over the last three years. She will be missed.

The Bogle and Roncoroni Family

Pictured are Bob Swain, winemaker for Parducci Wine Cellars and Patty, while riding along the west coast. Bob wrote the following to me, as I delivered the news to the PSILY members:

“Patty was one of the very truly nice people I have met in this business; I think doing the plaque is a great idea. My best memory of Patty is from the Blue Tooth trip from Texas to Chicago. We were having cocktails on the back of the train, as we went through small towns in Arkansas the early evening. I think the Markham tasting was the last time I saw her; you are right, she did seem happy. We will miss her.”

Patty Bogle and I spent many hours on the road and in railroad cars together. She loved riding trains, she told me years ago, so when we had our Blue Tooth Tour, she was “All Aboard!” We went from Seattle to Portland, to Los Angeles on one run. Then we went from Fort Worth to St. Louis, and onto Chicago on another run… Always a ball of positive energy exuding from her with her constant can do attitude. She bought this pair of socks for me in Seattle… I’ve been hanging onto them, while she’s been hanging onto life.

[This image of Patty behind the bar has Ernie – to her right as you’re looking at this image – looking on.]

I remember seeing her at an event that I organized called the Masters of Petite Sirah. It was held at Markham Vineyards in November of 2007. This was the first time I had seen her with a handsome partner helping her. All the years I had known her prior to that event Patty flew solo… I remember thinking how lovely it was to see her with someone. Life was going to start anew for her as the matriarch of her family and winery with a little help from someone else. It was so refreshing – after all of these years – to know that she had a love interest. His name is Ernie Roncoroni. You could see their love, even though they were very discrete and professional.

It was just after this event that Patty got her leukemia diagnosis. The gods had sent her an angel. Ernie dropped everything, and became her constant companion. After one session of treatments, when she was diagnosed as being free of the disease, Patty and Ernie married. It brought tears to my eyes, I was so happy for her. She deserved to be so loved, and she also deserved to have someone hold her hand during these very difficult days.

The reason I wanted to contact her children, as I had asked and was told about two weeks ago that it would be any second, was that I’ve been thinking a lot about her and had an idea… But, I still didn’t make that call, because it just didn’t seem like the right time.

Now is the right time for what I want to do, in a week or two…

What I want to do, and why:

Years ago, when we first started PS I Love You, I had high hopes for the group. At the second Petite Sirah Symposium held at Foppiano Vineyards, someone brought up that perhaps there could be a Petite Sirah Heritage Clone Vineyard at UC Davis, similar to the one that exists for Zinfandel. I contacted UC Davis, and spoke with Dr. James Wolpert, who was the head of viticulture and enology at the time. Patty Bogle was also very interested in this as a project. She became our Chair for this committee.

She immediately donated $30,000 to get the project off and running. It became her baby… all the way. At one of our Dark & Delicious events, she created a silent auction and raised almost $6,000, which we also donated to UC Davis for this Heritage Clone Vineyard.

Today, at the new Robert Mondavi building, there is a small Petite Sirah vineyard planting, and a plaque is supposed to be erected to denote that section as the Petite Heritage Vineyard. I’m not sure if that’s been done, yet, but I must now find out. I’m going to be asking the members of PSILY to help with a plaque in her honor, because it must be done for her.

That section of vines needs to be called the Patty Bogle Petite Sirah Heritage Clone Vineyard, because she believed in it so strongly. Bogle Vineyard produces more cases of Petite Sirah than any other wine company in the world. As the director of PSILY, it has to be my honor and privilege to have this small vineyard reflect her passion and commitment to the grape variety.

From David Gates at Ridge Winery: “Ridge is happy to help in any way that we can. Your beautiful letter helps with this terrible news.”

Her husband Chris Bogle preceeded her in death. Patty is now survived by her husband Ernie Roncoroni, her children Warren Bogle, Ryan Bogle, Kelly Fransen, and Jody Bogle, as well as her grandchildren.

I’m so going to miss you, Patty. You were such a dear, dear person.

Enhanced by Zemanta