Fresno State to match endowment gifts in memory of Dr. Vincent E. Petrucci

President Joseph Castro & Dr. Vincent E. Petrucci - Vino & Friends Library donation announcement


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(January 6, 2017) — Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro announced that Fresno State will match donations to the Dr. Vincent E. Petrucci Library and Scholarship Endowment funds up to $50,000 in honor of the viticulture and enology department founder who passed away on Dec. 27 at the age of 91.

"We are so very fortunate that Dr. Petrucci chose to share his love of students, higher education and the grape industry with Fresno State,” said President Castro. “He was an extraordinarily talented man that inspired new generations of viticulture and winemaking leaders.”

Petrucci, professor emeritus of viticulture at California State University, taught at Fresno State from 1948 until 1993 and helped establish the University’s renown viticulture and enology academic program.

In 1985 Dr. Petrucci founded the Fresno State Viticulture and Enology Research Center, which includes the Vincent E. Petrucci Library, and served as its director until his retirement in 1993. He was conferred an honorary doctorate of science by the California State University in 1994.

Those wishing to donate to either endowment fund in his honor can visit http://www.fresnostate.edu/jcast/agonefoundation .

In 1997, Fresno State became the first university in the nation with a winery bonded to market student-produced wines commercially. 

A limited Fresno State Winery edition of a student-produced vintage named in his honor, the Petrucci’s Crush wine (press release), was introduced Dec. 1 at a special release event that included Petrucci, family, friends and alumni, along with the department’s faculty, staff and many students. The wine also commemorates his wife of 69 years, Josephine, who supported him and his career and died Nov. 9 at the age of 91.

The Petrucci’s Crush is a red wine blend designed by Petrucci, his first, and Fresno State winemaker Matt Brain. The vintage is comprised of area Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot grapes.

Since his retirement, Dr. Petrucci published numerous papers and books detailing wine and grape growing best practices.

The V.E. Petrucci Library, which is part of the Henry Madden Library collection, supports and continues this legacy in academics, research, and extension in the heart of California’s Central Valley for students, university faculty and staff, industry and general public. 

Library resources reflect the diversity of its patron community with materials generated by the Department of Viticulture and Enology, by public and private research institutions and associations, and by other resources released regionally, nationally and globally.

“His leadership and many contributions form a legacy of academic distinction that will be honored and built upon in the decades to come,” President Castro said. “He modeled integrity in his work and in his personal life and he deeply loved his family, especially his devoted late wife Jo.”

Fresno State has served viticulture and enology students since 1948 through several programs before the Department of Viticulture and Enology was established in 2000. Fresno was the first California State University campus to combine research and academic offerings in both disciplines, and program graduates fill leading grape and wine industry positions worldwide.

Among Dr. Petrucci’s many accolades during his 46-year career was lifetime service to the wine grape industry in the Central Valley by the San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Association in 2009.

“Vince is an icon of viticulture research not just locally but nationally and internationally,” said Dr. Kenneth Fugelsang, former Fresno State winemaster and professor emeritus of enology whose 45-year career ended with retirement in 2012. “The University and industry owe him a great deal not only for the tutelage and preparation of students in viticulture and enology, but also for his vision and direction in research that have made a significant contributions in terms of what we know today in the fields of grape and wine.”

Dr. Petrucci earned a bachelor of science in pomology in 1947 and a master of science in horticulture in 1948, both from University of California, Davis. He served in the U.S. Naval Air Corps at the end of World War II.

Dr. Petrucci is survived by his five children and their spouses: Julianne Calvet, Kristene Scholefield and husband John, Stephanie Weber and husband Doug, Vincent P. Petrucci and wife Terri Lynn, Terrie Antonino and husband Joe, 16 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.