Kris Hicks

Vineyard Manager

“Kris considers it to be a good day at work when he arrives home thoroughly exhausted and dirty,” says Denise Trione, of her husband, vineyard manager for five Trione ranches.

Kris Hicks

As a young man, Kris worked in the construction industry with his father, a concrete mason. Focused on his vocational interests, he obtained an Associate Degree and Union Carpenter Apprenticeship. He became a certified EMT with dreams of becoming a fireman or policeman; however, Kris’ carpentry career took center stage with large bridge and construction projects.

Kris and Denise met in Sacramento. In 2008, they relocated to Sonoma County where the Trione winery was set to open. As Denise developed the winery hospitality, sales and marketing programs, Vimark Vineyards put Kris to work on the Trione’s five ranches, supervising building and repair projects. And he worked in the vineyards, learning pruning and harvesting.

Recognizing Kris’ exceptional management skills and work ethic, Mark Trione appointed him Operations Manager and put him to work with John Tankersley, Vimark’s Vineyard Manager for forty years. John took Kris under his wing, mentoring him for three seasons. Kris enhanced his field experience with viticulture classes at Santa Rosa Junior College.

When John retired in 2011, the Trione family appointed Kris Vineyard Manager. He completed his first solo season in 2012, working side-by-side with his crew. “My co-workers are my mentors now. I work alongside men who have been farming for decades. Together, we make decisions based on what is best for the vineyards and the workers.”

“We do everything it takes to grow and maintain our commitment to quality fruit,” Kris says. “Finding a way to farm efficiently and profitably while leaving the smallest footprint in the vineyard drives our definition of sustainability.” To meet this pledge, Kris employs proven techniques: water conservation, integrated pest management, cover crops. “We are always looking for a new way to do things or a more efficient way to approach farming and all the minute details it takes to grow quality fruit.”

Fifteen hundred meters west of Flatridge Ranch — on a hill overlooking the vineyard to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west — is Kris’ chosen spot for contemplation. “My favorite time of year is pruning season, the start of a new year.”

At home, Kris enjoys his free time with Denise and their daughter, Georgia. An outdoor enthusiast, he enjoys hunting, kayaking, four-wheeling and camping along Lake Tahoe’s Rubicon Trail.