The Sonoma County Harvest Fair in partnership with the Sonoma County Winegrowers has selected the Sangiacomo family for the 2019 Sustainable Farmer award.
For the Sangiacomo family, a legacy of hard work, quality production and family business has been central to daily life in Sonoma County for three generations. In 1927, Maria and Vittorio Sangiacomo settled in Sonoma on the family’s “home ranch,” having migrated to the area from Italy. Originally, the family farmed pears, apples and prunes and had four children who grew up on the ranch and began farming in their early years. Over time and with help from many family members, they transitioned the produce farms to vineyards, which ultimately led to huge growth of the business.
For over 90 years, farming has been a daily way of life for the Sangiacomo family. Today, the third generations of family members are heavily involved with day-to-day operations of the evolving business. This includes the (adult) children of Angelo and Diane Sangiacomo who are all committed to ensuring the family legacy continues for future generations: Mike Sangiacomo, Steve Sangiacomo, Mia Pucci and son-in-law Mike Pucci.
Over 50 years after planting their first vineyard on the ranch, many of the same practices that resulted in a reputation of high-quality, sustainable winegrapes are in place today. The Sangiacomo Family mission: to sustainably farm with Mother Nature to grow world-class winegrapes and craft wines of intensity and balance from our very best vineyard sites, guides decisions in the vineyard and ensures that the priorities continue to include a focus on quality as well as environmentally conscientious farming practices, sound business acumen and treating employees, clients and community with the highest levels of respect and consideration. The family’s winegrowing expertise and the willingness to “custom farm” to meet the needs of each winery client has been proven many times over the years, with “Sangiacomo Vineyards” being one of the first vineyards in Sonoma County to be recognized with a vineyard-designated wine, and having been recognized on labels by over 35 different wineries over the years.
In 2015, all Sangiacomo vineyards county-wide were certified sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA). This includes over 1600 acres of winegrapes grown primarily in Sonoma Valley, Petaluma Gap, Carneros and Sonoma Coast. In 2018, the family released the first vintage of their namesake wine, featuring small-production, hand-crafted Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the best of the family’s estate vineyards.
“The Sangiacomo Family are pillars of our grape growing community,” said Sonoma County Winegrowers President Karissa Kruse, “they were early leaders of sustainability in their vineyards and in using the sustainable winegrowing label to reach consumers. Steve Sangiacomo is a long-term board member of the Sonoma County Winegrowers, the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation and a member of the Sonoma County Center for Ag Sustainability. Mike Sangiacomo served for many years on the board of CSWA. The family’s generosity has helped support a number of critical programs for our farmworkers and their families. The Sangiacomo family was an obvious choice for Sustainable Farmer/Grape Grower and we are so thankful for their ongoing support and leadership.”