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Modesto's Gallo family has roots in Italy. A member went back for a major wine award

E.&J. Gallo Winery of Modesto, CA, received the Vinitaly International Award in Verona, Italy, on Saturday, April 14, 2018. At center is Gina Gallo, a third-generation leader with the company. At left is Maurizio Danese, president of Veronafiere, the host of the wine industry gathering. At right is Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere.
E.&J. Gallo Winery of Modesto, CA, received the Vinitaly International Award in Verona, Italy, on Saturday, April 14, 2018. At center is Gina Gallo, a third-generation leader with the company. At left is Maurizio Danese, president of Veronafiere, the host of the wine industry gathering. At right is Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere. E.&J. Gallo Winery

E.&J. Gallo Winery won a major industry award at an April 14 gathering in Verona, Italy.

The Modesto-based company received the 2018 Vinitaly International Award, presented during a four-day event that drew 128,000 visitors from 143 countries.

Gina Gallo, a winemaker and third-generation leader in the company, was on hand to receive the honor.

Ernest and Julio Gallo, the sons of Italian immigrants, started the winery in 1933 and built it into the world's largest.

"Our family origins began in northern Italy, so it is perfect to accept such an important award for our industry here in Verona," Gina Gallo said in a news release.

The 52nd annual Vinitaly was put on by Veronafiere, a leading event organizer in Italy.

"Gallo has a long-standing reputation of valuing relationships with their employees, customers and suppliers around the globe," said Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere.

This is the first time the company has won the international award. It received the Premio Gran Vinitaly Award for its Gallo of Sonoma premium line in 1998, 2001 and 2002.

Gallo has more than 90 brands of wine and spirits from the San Joaquin Valley, coastal California, Washington state and five foreign countries. It employs more than 6,000 people in Modesto and elsewhere.

Dot Foods Nourishes Community

Low-income people will get $30,000 worth of groceries thanks to donations from the Modesto branch of Dot Foods.

The company, which distributes products from 930 food manufacturers, will give $5,000 in food to each of six food pantries in the area.

Dot launched the effort Thursday, April 19, at its distribution center off Crows Landing Road. It is one of 11 around the nation taking part in the effort, called Neighbor-to-Neighbor.

The food will be delivered over the next month to:

Interfaith Ministries in Modesto's airport district

Nineveh Outreach, part of The House Modesto on Coffee Road

St. Jude's Catholic Church in Ceres

Daily Bread program at United Samaritans Foundation, serving much of Stanislaus County

St. Vincent De Paul Society at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Manteca

Good Samaritan Training Center in Stockton

MJC to hold commencement

The city's second-ranking police officer will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award at Modesto Junior College's commencement Friday, April 27.

Rick Armendariz is assistant chief with the Modesto Police Department and also is serving as interim deputy city manager. He has worked in patrol, gangs, homicide, internal affairs, K-9, SWAT and other functions over a 23-year career.

Student Danielle Simpson will give a speech titled “In Search of a Lost Dream.” She hopes to become a school psychologist after completing her studies at California State University, Stanislaus, and graduate school.

Student Tasha Williams will sing the national anthem, and MJC's combined symphonic and concert bands will perform.

The commencement, the 96th in the college's history, will start at 6 p.m. at the stadium on the East Campus.

Hospice Names Chief Clinical Officer

Community Hospice has a new chief clinical officer, Karryn Unruh-Salonen, who most recently was director of clinical operations for the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency.

Salonen is a registered nurse with more than 30 years of health care experience. She will continue to be an educator for Doctors Medical Center in Modesto.

And finally ...

A documentary about four Central Valley artists with Asian roots will air at 7 p.m. May 23 on KVIE Channel 6.

"Halfway Home" was produced by Steve Arounsack, an associate professor of cultural anthropology at Stanislaus State.

The film features Lon Chan of Stockton, who makes traditional costumes for Cambodian classical dance. Fresno-area farmer and playwright Nikiko Masumoto preserves Japanese American traditions. And Harjeet Singh and Paramjeet Kaur teach a Punjabi dance called bhangra in Yuba City.

Names of Note recognizes individuals and organizations for their achievements and contribution to their communities. Submit items to jholland@modbee.com.

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