Piero Macchi, the founder of Enoplastic, which produces screw caps, synthetic corks and labels for drinks bottles, quietly changed his will shortly before he died, leaving staff at the company's Bodio Lomnago plant in the Italian Alps a total of €1.5 million ($1.64 million).
“It was all managed by his wife Carla, my mother, who sent a touching letter of thanks with each of the checks” Macchi's daughter Giovanna, the current joint manager of Enoplastic, told Corriera della Sera newspaper.
The checks landed just before Christmas, with new staff receiving €2,000 and the oldest staff €10,000 - and some workers got even more when Macchi knew they needed it.
Macchi, a lover of both good wine and machinery, turned a hobby into a lucrative business when he founded Enoplastic in 1957 - the company now produces 2.5 billion units a year and exports to more than 80 countries.
“We always think of ourselves as a big family and this Christmas present is a sign of that,” one worker told the Varese News newspaper.