From the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association:
It is with much sadness that we report the passing of Ben Valentino, a long time friend of the Texas Wine Industry and member of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association. Ben passed away at his home in San Antonio, Texas on Tuesday evening, August 23, 2011.
Ben was President of TWGGA in 2004. He worked for years in the Texas Wine Industry mostly in equipment sales and service. In recent years Ben represented Della Toffola USA, a major exhibitor and sponsor of the TWGGA Annual Conference and Trade Show.
Always the gentlemen, Ben's kindness was ever-present as he interacted with TWGGA staff, conference attendees, and invited guests. His warm smile and engaging manner encouraged everyone to stop by the booth for a lively discussion over a variety of topics. Gabe Parker, TWGGA Director at Large stated, "Ben forgot more than most winemakers know about presses, crushers, tanks, and pumps." His knowledge helped many of the Texas winemakers and grape growers increase their business footprint.
Ben is survived by his wife Anne and a large group of family and friends. Details on the memorial service at Fort Sam Houston will be released when they are finalized by the family. The Association extends their deepest sympathies.