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Italian Vintner Cosimo Taurino Dies

James Suckling
Posted: August 26, 1999

Cosimo Taurino, one of southern Italy's great promoters of reasonably priced, good-quality wines, died of a heart attack on Aug. 23 at his seaside home in Porto Cesario, on the Ionian coast of Italy. He was 59.

Taurino was one of the first to bottle and to sell wines from Apulia (the part of Italy which resembles the heel of the boot) around the world. Until then, the rich wines of the hot, arid region were primarily sold in bulk and used in blends to strengthen wines from other parts of Italy and Europe. Taurino began selling his wines in the United States in 1981 and established a solid market, selling about 50,000 cases annually. The best-known of his wines, which were all marketed under his name, is a red from the Salice Salentino appellation.

"He was one of the most generous people I have ever met," said Leonardo LoCascio, president of Winebow, the U.S. importer of Taurino wines. "Countless visitors to his home have come back moved by the genuine hospitality that he extended to everybody from the United States. He was a man capable of strong feelings and deep emotions. Never have I encountered such trust in a business relationship."

Taurino is survived by his wife, Rita, as well as a daughter, son and grandson. The wines will continue to be produced by his winemaker, Severino Garofano.

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