The 70-year-old owner of the first North Fork winery died when the SUV he was driving was involved in a head-on crash with a truck in Wading River on Monday afternoon.

Riverhead Town Police said Maro Borghese was driving his Jeep Grand Cherokee eastbound on Route 25A when he failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway and collided with a westbound box truck at 3:33 p.m.

Borghese was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The victim is the owner of Castello di Borghese Vineyard in Cutchogue, the first winery to open on the East End more than 40 years ago, paving the way for more than 100 others that make up the North Fork Wine Trail today. He bought it in 1999.

His passing came days after his 56-year-old wife, Ann Marie Borghese, also died.

Riverhead town police are continuing the investigation into the cause of the crash with the assistance of New York State police.


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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.