Founder Dulcich & Sons Famous For Growing “Pretty Lady” Grapes Shot Dead In Delano

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Jakov Dulcich, the founder of Dulcich & Sons, the Delano farming company best known for “Pretty Lady” grapes, was shot and killed Wednesday morning.

Dulcich, 84, was found with multiple gunshot wounds around 8:30 the area of Browning Rd & Woollomes Ave, Delano, CA., according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.


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Delano resident Mariano Fernandez Perez was identified as a suspect in the April 11. Perez was arrested during a traffic stop on Saturday. He has been booked into the Kern County Jail on suspicion of murder.

Investigators determined Dulcich’s SUV and the suspect vehicle had been traveling on South Browning Road when an occupant of the suspect vehicle fired into Dulcich’s SUV. The SUV continued south on South Browning and hit another vehicle that had pulled to the shoulder. The suspect vehicle drove to the scene of the crash and became involved in a physical altercation with the driver of the third vehicle, according to sheriff’s officials. The suspect fired at least one round but did not hit the driver, who fled into a nearby vineyard. source

According to the company website, Dulcich and his wife emigrated from Croatia and, after spending a year in Chile, settled in Delano in 1960. They worked in vineyards owned by his uncle until they had saved enough money to buy 80 acres of farmland in 1975.

Dulcich began creating brand labels for different grapes he grew, and in 1992 Dulcich & Sons began marketing its grapes to the world, the website says. In 1996, the company’s Sunlight International sales division was created and its first storage facility built.

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