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Dale Goode

  • Dale Goode

Pioneer winegrower Dale Goode, the last of the founding members of Murphy-Goode Vineyards and Murphy-Goode Winery, died Sept. 23 in Healdsburg. He was 79.

Goode's health had been fragile for some time, complicated by an injury in 1976 that left him paraplegic.

A celebration of life will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 13 at Alexander Valley Vineyards in Healdsburg.

A Sonoma County resident for 48 years, Goode was born in the San Joaquin Valley town of Taft. His family dates to 1650 in the country and has roots in California since 1848.

Goode graduated from Bakersfield High School, where he met his future wife, Nydia Jeppi during his sophomore year. They married in 1954.

Goode earned a degree in agriculture from UC Davis, which had recently started a viticulture program. The couple returned to Bakersfield and Delano, where Goode began growing table grapes.

Over the next seven years, he planted more than a thousand acres of grapes in the San Joaquin Valley. On a visit to Davis and the Napa Valley, a friend told him of an opportunity in Sonoma County.

In 1965, Goode became the vineyard manager for Russ Green and Harry Wetzel in the Alexander Valley. He helped establish Alexander Valley Vineyards & Winery and Hoot Owl Creek Vineyards & Winery.

Goode was the first grower in the Alexander Valley to use trellising for vines and to introduce cordon pruning to replace the old head-trained pruning method.

Goode volunteered many summers fighting wildland fires. He helped organize an Alexander Valley volunteer fire department, which later merged with the Geyserville Fire District.

While on a fire call on Nov. 26, 1976 in Knights Valley, a windstorm crashed a fir tree onto the firetruck Goode was driving, leaving him paraplegic.

John Saini, another firefighter and longtime friend, was in the passenger seat.

“From that day on, we were father and son, brother and brother,” he said. “We were joined in a way that you can't imagine.

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