It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of the beautiful, kind-hearted soul who imbued Longevity Winery with its uniquely warm, familiar and heartfelt hospitality. Debra Long, wife of Phil Long and co-proprietor of Longevity Winery, left us on Monday, January 14, after a courageous and hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer.
Debra was certainly my idea of the perfect proprietor for a winery: welcoming, gracious, spirited, fun-loving, witty, wise and most of all, blessed with an enviable talent for making people feel instantly at ease. She will be greatly missed. Nobody could light up a room like Debra. Few could match her amazing food and wine pairing palate. Together with Phil, she was the proud winner of several wine pairing contests at Taste Our Terroir, an event she looked forward to eagerly each year. It brought her great joy to see the rapturous look on people’s faces as they tasted her brilliant pairings. She and Phil were always beaming as they poured their famous Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris. We raise a glass to you, Debra.
Last week, the Livermore Winegrowers announced that Longevity had been selected to receive the coveted annual Winery of the Year award. The award winners are selected each November based on participation, engagement and leadership in the Association.
In bestowing the award, Executive Director Chris Chandler said: "Phil and Debra have never been short on engagement in association activities. Whether it’s hosting media and VIP’s; participating in association events to the fullest—their Taste of Terroir table décor is always astounding—and even going as far as building props for social media posts. They have been generous with their time, energy and resources to promote not only their own brand, but the region as a whole. Debra has served this wine community for several years, both on the events committee and as a board member. Phil has been a gracious host to anyone that has had the privilege to experience Longevity Wines’ outstanding hospitality."
Other honors awarded at the January 10 meeting included:
• Community Partner of the Year: City of Livermore (accepted by Mayor John
• Affiliate Member of the Year: Black Tie Transportation (accepted by Bill Wheeler, president)
Livermore Mayor John Marchand also installed the LVWA 2019-2020 Board of Directors. Alexandra Henkelman, owner and winemaker at Omega Road Winery, will serve as president of the board.
Other board members include:
• Gina Cardera, Garré Vineyard & Winery (Vice President)
• Debbie Cristiano, Page Mill Winery (Secretary)
• Lisa Maier, Las Positas Vineyards (Treasurer)
• Kathy Liske el Sol Winery (AMAC Chair)
• Amy Hoopes, Wente Family Estates (Past President)
• Holger Hornisch, Wood Family Vineyards
• Heather McGrail, McGrail Vineyards & Winery
• Harry Galles, Galles Vineyard
• Jordan Wente, Winemakers Studio
• Lindsay Knight, Murrieta’s Well
• Ian O’Leary, Spirited Packaging
• Rhiannon Eddy, The Purple Orchid