Dick Naylor, owner of Naylor Wine Cellars, dies at 90

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Dick Naylor, owner of Naylor Wines seen here in an archive photo from 2010, passed away Monday evening at the age of 90.
John A. Pavoncello photo

Dick Naylor, a beloved York County wine connoisseur and owner of Naylor Wine Cellars in Stewartstown, died in his sleep while surrounded by family Monday, Dec. 10, at the age of 90.

The company took to Facebook on Tuesday, Dec. 11, to announce Naylor's death, describing him as an "innovator and a visionary, a pioneer for the wine industry in Pennsylvania and a champion of big band music."

Dick Naylor, of Naylor Wine Cellars, died Monday, Dec. 10, at the age of 90.

"We will miss your smiling face and warm heart," the post read. "Thank you for teaching us about living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment. Thank you for showing us how to turn our dreams into reality as you so often did. ... Thank you for being you. There was never anyone like you, and there will never be another."

Naylor leaves behind three daughters and seven grandchildren. His wife, Audrey, died in 2013.

"He was just the best grandpa," said Amanda Brimfield, one of Naylor's grandchildren and the accounting and marketing manager at the winery for seven years.

Brimfield said she remembers when she would visit with her family as a child and play hide-and-seek in the crates with other children.

She also recalled how Naylor would take her and her loved ones on golf cart rides through the vineyard, where she truly got to know who he was as a person, describing him as "fun, very generous and just loved."

"He was kind to everybody, and he loved meeting new people," Brimfield said. "He always laughed and had a good time. He loved his family dearly."

More:Fundraiser at Naylor Wine Cellars

Naylor took up the hobby of making wine in the late 1960s, when he first made wine from dandelions, according to the company's website.

He and his wife opened Naylor Wine Cellars in 1978. The year before, they had produced the first 1,600 gallons of wine in their original winery, a potato cellar underneath a chicken house that still remains on the property.

He was also a dedicated fan of big band music, a genre first popularized in the early 1900s with a heavy jazz influence. Naylor built a stage behind the property where bands could play.

Over the decades, Naylor served as the director of Wine America and president of the Pennsylvania Wine Association. He also taught classes at Penn State University on how to grow grapes and ferment them to make wine, the website states.

In 2013, the American Wine Society honored him with the Award of Merit, the most prestigious honor in the industry.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.