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Delicato wine & Portuguese donuts: A treat for museum crowd on Thursday
Dorothy Indelicato demonstrates how to make Portuguese donuts before a group of guests who attended the monthly program at the Manteca Historical Museum. This months’ feature is the Delicato Family Vineyards. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO
It was an evening of Delicato wine and Portuguese donuts that brought the crowd at the Manteca Historical Museum on Thursday.

The program, which is a monthly feature at the museum focusing on historical highlights in the area, started out with a presentation on the history of Delicato Family Vineyards by Dorothy Indelicato. Her talk was accompanied by a slide presentation on the history of the family-owned company that was founded in 1924, and how three generations of the Indelicato family have guided the business from a small grape-growing operation during Prohibition to being one of California’s leading wineries in California today with a growing national and international following.

DFV added another feather to its cap recently with its purchase of Black Stallion Winery in the Napa Valley.

Gaspare Indelicato planted his first grape vines in 1924 with the first vintage in 1935 generating 3,500 barrels. This fall will mark the Indelicato family’s 74th grape harvest.

In introducing Indelicato as the guest speaker, museum board member Ken Hafer said, “It was Dorothy who gave the Portuguese flavor to the Delicato Winery.”

Following her presentation on the history of Delicato Family Vineyards, Indelicato then segued into the culinary portion of her program. This time, the topic focused on her Portuguese roots, specifically on the making of Portuguese donuts. For this part of the program, which was a rare occasion because it was held al fresco next to the agricultural annex in the parking lot, a portable cooking stove was set up where Indelicato proceeded to demonstrate how to make the famous Portuguese delicacy. She was assisted by Dorothy Martin, the wife of Tony Martin who is her cousin by marriage. Seated at the front row, proudly watching her daughter perform her culinary art was Indelicato’s smiling mother, Mary Cardoza, who will be celebrating her 98th birthday next week.

Mabel Brocchini, who said she used to make Portuguese donuts as a young girl, had two words to say about Indelicato’s culinary creation for the evening: “It’s delicious!”

Those same words were echoed by octogenarian John Mendes and just about everybody else who washed down the sugar-coated delicacy with lemonade served by museum director Evelyn Prouty and her docents, and samples of Delicato wines served by Hafer.

Mendes, who said he remembered eating this delicacy growing up, had the distinct honor of being the first to taste test the piping hot Portuguese donut.

Indelicato is no stranger to culinary challenges having authored “Wine, Food and the Good Life: Celebrating 50 years of Family Winemaking,” a cookbook featuring traditional recipes that extol the virtues of family and food, along with writer Arlene Mueller. A copy of the book was one of the prizes given away during the evening program, along with a Delicato bottle of wine.