Trione Family Vineyards and Winery
Three generations, decades of farming, five ranches — our family is deeply rooted in the Sonoma County wine industry. Dedicated farmers for over fifty years, brothers Mark and Vic Trione own and cultivate close to 600 vineyard acres in three prime Sonoma County appellations: Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Coast.
The Trione family has a rich history of grape growing and winemaking in Sonoma County which is best told from the beginning with the family’s patriarch, Henry Trione.
Raised in Fortuna, CA by Italian immigrant parents, Henry could always be described as a true entrepreneur with great foresight, or as he would call it “luck". As a young Navy veteran, Henry Trione moved to Sonoma County in the 1940’s with his Navy veteran wife Madelyne to seek a home in the blossoming post war community of Santa Rosa. Henry saw opportunity for mortgage lending in the developing town and started the first mortgage company in Sonoma County, aptly name Sonoma Mortgage which he would eventually sell to Wells Fargo Bank in the 1970’s. Growth and potential abound, Henry entered into many different ventures, some fruitful and some not. To name just a few, these included partial ownership in a lumber mill and the Oakland Raiders, starting a vocational school for secretaries that developed into a successful business and law school, purchasing Italian truffle sniffing dogs to hunt truffles in Sonoma County, and naturally, real estate development. Henry and Madelyne had two sons, Vic and Mark, whom after graduating from college and completing their military service, returned home to work with Henry and eventually join him in one of his legacy ventures of vineyard development. Mark has said, “To learn Business 101 from Henry, was to learn from the best.” In the 1970’s the three Trione men focused their efforts on seeking and developing premium planting sites, identified by their soil type, climate and growing region in what is now the Russian River and Alexander Valley AVA’s. After acquiring and planting nearly 1,000 acres of vineyards, they quickly realized they need a home for their grapes and purchased Geyser Peak Winery in the heart of Alexander Valley.
Turning the Geyser Peak brand around was no small feat but by eliminating the boxed wine packaging and gaining the esteemed Australian winemaking team Daryl Groom and Mick Schroeder (through a brief partnership with Pennfold’s Winery) Geyser Peak began an upward trend catching the attention of consumers and critics alike. After 20 years of rewarding and fulfilling winery ownership, Henry, Mark and Vic accepted an offer for sale and stepped comfortably back into growing grapes. While Vic focused on his successful and growing savings and loan, Luther Burbank Savings & Loan est. 1983, Mark oversaw their vineyard company Vimark Vineyards.
Through careful cultivation and selection, Vimark Vineyards then roughly 700 planted acres, continued its aim on growing the highest quality wine grapes. After many years away from making wine, in 2005 a new chapter took root. The Trione family, Vic, Mark and now Mark’s daughter Denise, returned to the wine business, but this time only focusing on the top 3% of what they grow for their own family brand Trione Vineyards and Winery. With the help of then winemaker Scot Covington, Trione produced 2005, 2006 and 2007 vintages in a custom crush facility before completed the construction of the winery in Geyserville, CA just in time for the 2008 harvest. The objective of the Trione wines has always been to showcase the vineyards. Focusing on site, soil and clonal selections, making wine for the Trione’s focuses on the grapes that are the highest expression of quality.
Now, in its 17th year, under the winemaking direction of John Duckett, Trione Winery continues its dedication to the vineyards and ultimately growing grapes in Sonoma County. Concentrating on growing what they believe to be the best of the best, making exceptional wine is a happy byproduct.
Trione Winery architectural centerpiece is a landmark stone building built in 1908 as Nervo Winery, just the 350th winery in the state. In 2008 the ‘Old Stone Building’ was restored to preserve the history and authentic character and now serves as an extraordinary event venue.
Trione Winery and Vimark Vineyards is truly a family affair. Mark Trione is President, Vic is Vice President, and Mark’s daughter Denise over sees sales, marketing and branding, while her husband, Kris Hicks, runs all vineyard operations as the vineyard manager for Vimark Vineyards.
Note: The legacy of Henry Trione would not be complete without acknowledging his continued and tireless efforts to give back to the community he loved. Henry helped establish the jewel which is Annadel State Park (now name Trione-Annadel in his memory), Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center, Green Music Center, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and supported more non-profits that can be named. His family continues his vision of giving back.
The Old Stone Building
During planning and construction of their new winery at the Trione’s Alexander Valley Home Ranch, three generations of the family gave thoughtful consideration to preserving the 100-year-old landmark stone building. Built in 1908 as Nervo winery, the commanding structure reveals Sonoma County’s winemaking history rooted in Italian American traditions.
Frank Nervo Sr. commissioned the winery two years after the San Francisco earthquake devastated homes and commercial structures as far north as Santa Rosa and Alexander Valley. Nervo hired contractor and stone mason Peter Moroni, whose family immigrated to California from Italian villages near the Carrara quarry where Michaelangelo acquired his marble.
Moroni used large basalt blocks mined from nearby Annadel quarry and lumber cut and hewn from Oregon forests. Mindful of the recent quake and the power of Mother Nature, Moroni developed a unique, reinforced design. As the building began to rise and the massive second floor joists were hoisted into place, he embedded a heavy linked chain into the outside walls.
Nervo installed contemporary winemaking equipment. A 30-horsepower locomotive-size steam boiler ran the must pump and wine press; a donkey engine powered various sized steel wheels driving leather belts to feed grapes to the crusher. Second floor fermenters gravity-fed ground floor storage tanks secured on a concrete floor, an innovation at a time when dirt floors were common.
Newspaper accounts from 1908 laud the newly built structure as a symbol of the vitality and conviction pioneering families had for the future of Sonoma County agriculture and wine. After a century of use, the Old Stone Building retains that original belief and foresight.
Now a beautifully restored two-story hospitality center surrounded by sweeping views of Alexander Valley, the Old Stone Building accommodates the winery’s special events and Trione wine club gatherings. Enhanced by a beautifully planted courtyard with cascading water fountain, it is open for arranged tours that provide historical perspective and ample room for personal inspiration. The venue is also available for weddings and gatherings up to 200 people.