He was a well-respected and accomplished doctor and winemaker in Brookfield, and after a brief illness, Dr. Paul DiGrazia passed away on Sunday morning at the age of 86.

With over 60 years of experience in the area of women's health, Dr. DiGrazia was very aware of the body's need for antioxidants, so in 1978, as a hobby, he thought it might be a good idea to start producing wine. It was then that he and his wife went in search of the perfect location for growing grapes, good exposure to sunlight, the right slopes and soil.

From there, DiGrazia and his late wife, Barbara, approached a farmer in Brookfield, and after selling their grapes to wineries in New York and New Jersey for about six years, he decided to open his own winery 1984.

What started out as a hobby, quickly turned to a business that made DiGrazia Vinyard's one of the most popular on the Connecticut wine trail.

Back in 2016, he talked about the health benefits of wine in an article on the vineyard's  Facebook page:

I believe that there are health benefits to moderate wine consumption and hope that in future years this benefit will be better recognized and incorporated into a healthy diet. In my winery business I have worked to make wine more healthful. We were one of the first wineries in the country to make a sulfite-free wine. We have also developed techniques to increase the anti-oxidant level of the final product.

If you ever visited DiGrazia Vineyards and ran into him, he always had time to talk or give you a tour, and he loved to see people enjoying themselves in the tasting room or on the lawn. You just knew how much he loved his wine, and the care he took producing every single bottle.

On Monday (July 22) the DiGrazia family announced his passing:

It is with great sadness that we write this. After a brief illness, Dr. Paul DiGrazia passed away Sunday morning. His creativity, passion and knowledge were unmatched. We will miss him immensely. He loved talking with all of you and we are so grateful he got to spend so much time doing what he loved in the community he held so dear.