Born and raised in Yolo County, Tony brings a unique mix of skills to his role that is directly applicable to our diversified operations.
Tony received his undergraduate degree in Animal Science at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo where he focused on cattle and rangeland management. Early in his career, Tony’s interests took him to Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay where he worked on large cattle ranches. Although he is a bit rusty with cattle handling, Tony is a certified artificial insemination technician. More recently, at Shannon Ridge Vineyards, Tony introduced integrated livestock management techniques to the vineyard operations and also managed a grass-fed lamb meat production operation.
In Yolo County, Tony has had direct experience with row and fruit crops through his family’s business, including tomatoes, almonds, alfalfa, and sugar beets. More significantly, in partnership with Roberto Zecca (Frantoio Restaurant owner and co-founder of California Olive Oil Council), he was a pioneer in introducing Arbequina olives to California from Spain. They successfully introduced monoclonal body pruning and row cropping of olives to the California industry. Tony has visited olive producers in Spain and Italy and is a graduate of the olive oil sensory evaluation course conducted by the UC Extension Service.
Finally, Tony has more than 20 years of experience as a vineyard manager, nursery stock manager, and viticulturalist. He has experience in multiple appellations across the North Coast. His most recent position was as Vice President - Vineyard Operations for Shannon Ranches in Lake County. Immediately prior, he was the Chief Viticulturalist/Vineyard Manager - Napa Properties for Constellation Wines. Ironically, he arrived in that position by being acquired several times by new companies without ever leaving his position. Not surprisingly, he has extensive experience with Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. Earlier in his career, Tony was the vineyard manager at Atlas Peak where he gained first-hand experience with Sangiovese.
Tony lives with his fiancé Dana Estensen (current Napa County Farm Bureau President) on Soda Canyon Road. When not at work, he can be found fly-fishing or rooting for the San Francisco Giants.