A Memorial to Gary Orlandini, Southern Illinois Wine Pioneer

Mark Ganchiff

Mark Ganchiff is the publisher of Midwest Wine Press, the leading source of news on the growing wine industry in the central United States. Mark has been a wine judge at the 2012 and 2014 INDY International Wine Competition, the 2014 Cold Climate Wine Competition, the 2013 Mid-American Wine Competition, the 2012 Illinois State Fair Wine Competition and the 2013 Michigan Wine Competition. He also enjoys speaking at wine events including the Cold Climate Wine Conference, the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association Annual Meeting, the Midwest Grape and Wine Conference and the Wisconsin Fruit and Vegetable Conference. Mark's articles about regional wine have appeared in Vineyard & Winery Management, WineMaker and several regional magazines. Mark is a Level One Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers. He lives in Louisville, but also has a residence in Chicago.

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6 Responses

  1. Mike Orlandini says:

    Mark, thank you for the article on my brother Gary. He not only loved growing the grapes and making the wine, but as you discovered he also loved talking to people about the process. It was said at his memorial that he never knew a stranger and for those that knew him found that this was the truth. Again, thank you.
    Mike Orlandini
    Fort Madison, IA

    • Mark Ganchiff says:

      Gary’s memory lives on with all the people he touched. He worked as hard as anyone, but he was never too busy to stop and make a personal connection.

  2. Kent and Nancy Herbert says:

    Mark, we enjoyed your article about Gary. My wife and I have known the Orlandinis since the 70s and have enjoyed many excellent glasses of wine with both Gary and his lovely wife Noella at their winery. Gary will be missed but I’m sure he is smiling down on us knowing that the Orlandini tradition of great wine will continue being pressed from grapes he planted decades ago.
    God Bless,
    Kent and Nancy Herbert

  3. Rich Carlson says:

    I never met a finer man in my life, a true friend to all he met.

  4. Julie Orlandini says:

    Mark, I really enjoyed this article about my father. I can picture you pulling up meeting each other for the first time. Great description and details. Much appreciated-Julie

    • Mark Ganchiff says:

      Thanks for your kind words and remembrances. Gary was one of a kind, he helped clear the path for many others who will keep Southern Illinois the friendliest wine region in the US.