30th September, 2013 by Gabriel Stone
The Sherry industry is mourning the loss of Mauricio González-Gordon Diéz, who died on Friday 27 September aged 89.
Mauricio González-Gordon, who died last week
“Don Mauricio” was born in Hampton Hill, England on 18 October 1923, before moving to Jerez at a young age with his family. Having graduated in 1946 with a degree in chemical sciences from the University of Seville, he joined González Byass in 1947, where he was personally responsible for the tasting and selection of the majority of wine produced by the family business for 20 years. Having been appointed to the board of González Byass in 1961, he become its president in 1993.
Mauricio also held a place on the Consejo Regulador de la D.O Jerez, Sherry’s regulatory body, for 24 years and was a member of the Gran Orden de Caballeros del Vino, an honour reserved for those who have made an “outstanding contribution” to the Spanish wine industry.
In addition to his leading role within the Sherry industry, Mauricio was very active within the sphere of conservation, founding the Spanish Society for Ornithology in 1954 and spearheading efforts to protect the nearby Doñana national park.
In 1955, he turned this interest toward his own business, founding the research centre for Quality, Investigation, Development, Innovation and Environment (CIDIMA) at González Byass – the very first organisation of its kind in Spain dedicated to vini- and viticultural investigation.
Mauricio was also president of the Red Cross in Jerez between 1974 and 1988, receiving the organisation’s gold medal in recognition of his services. In his free time, his love of sailing saw him awarded the Medal of Naval Merit of the First Order by His Majesty the King of Spain. Other titles included the Marqués de Bonanza, which he inherited from his father; Vice-Consul of Denmark and Knight of Dannebrog, awarded in 1985 by Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark; and the Gran Cruz al Mérito Agraria en la Sección de Alimentación, awarded in 2011 by His Excellency Sr Don Miguel Arias Cañete, Spanish minister for Agriculture, Fishing & Food.
Mauricio’s death comes just two months after that of his wife of over 60 years, Milagros López de Carrizosa. The couple have two children, Bibiano and Mauricio, the current chairman of González Byass.