Nicola “Dudu” Durandi, beloved Friulian winemaker, dies at 43.

Above: Nicola “Dudu” Durandi (right), beloved Friulian winemaker with Melania Spagnoli, Texas sales manager for his U.S.-based importing and distributing company.

Nicola Durandi, 43, a legacy grape grower and winemaker from Friuli has died. According to a local media report, the cause was a heart attack.

Known affectionately as “Dudu,” Nicola was a beloved figure in Udine where he lived with his wife and children.

His family’s Antonutti winery is one of Friuli’s leading producers of fine wines. He worked as the estate’s brand ambassador in the U.S.

Over the years, I met and tasted with Nicola on a number of occasions in Texas, a state he visited regularly. Earlier this year, he was the featured guest at one of the virtual wine dinners I host for a restaurant here in Houston.

Nicola was a warm man, with a broad smile and a hearty handshake. And he had that classic Friulian eagerness and genuineness about him.

Tracie and I were both immensely saddened to hear of his sudden passing and we would like to share our heartfelt condolences with his family. Our condolences also go out to the Impero wine team. Nicola will be sorely missed.

Sit tibi terra levis Nicolae.

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