April 27th, 2016
Orville Magoon died on March 19.
Orville was the founder of Guenoc Winery, the Langtry Estate – and a whole lot more. We started representing his winery in 1984.
His estate in Northern California was huge: over 21,000 acres in Lake and Napa counties. He grew a wide variety of wine grapes, raised cattle and hunted wild boar. It was home to the Lillie Langtry House, an historic Victorian home refurbished to the era by Orville. Despite being haunted, many of us from VWD stayed there. There was also a bunk house that could house about 20 people – what a great sales incentive trip!
Orville visited Cleveland several times. A couple of times, we would have a boar roast with him. His staff would send us a butchered animal from his estate. Chuck Masterpaul of Noggins or the Gamekeeper’s staff would cook it.
Orville came from royal heritage in Hawaii. He entertained many distributor people in his home state, always serving POI – a traditional part of Hawaiian cuisine from the taro plant.
Prior to the Five Star Sensation of 1997, we took him on a tour of Cleveland, ending at the 55th Street pier. Orville was an expert and the authority on harbors of the world and break walls. As we stood on the pier, he started identifying some of the boulders that make up the end of the CLE break wall. He told us why certain boulders were placed where they were, their approximate weight and their impact on the wall. Additionally, he spoke of the foolishness of the old break wall that at one time included two scuttled ore freighters.
Orville was the consummate engineer – curious, inquisitive and constantly searching for answers to questions very few of us have the imagination to ask. May he rest in peace.
You can read his obituary by searching the Napa Valley Register.