Nurtured by childhood memories of her father Mark, uncle Vic and grandfather Henry running their Sonoma County vineyards and Geyser Peak Winery (owned by her family from 1982 – 1998), Denise Trione aspired of a future that included family and wine.
Born and raised in Santa Rosa, California, Denise attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and earned her degree in Business Administration in 2000. Immediately following graduation, Denise worked for 6 years in commercial banking. “I knew that my banking career was a placeholder for a career in the wine industry,” Denise says. “In 2005, as soon as Dad, Uncle Vic and I began planning Trione Vineyards and Winery, I promptly gave my notice at the bank.”
Denise spent the next 2 years gaining wine industry experience before opening Trione Winery in 2008 with her father Mark, uncle Vic and winemaker Scot Covington.
In the meantime, Denise’s husband Kris Hicks began working for the family’s vineyard company, Vimark Vineyards. Initially hired as an experienced carpenter, Kris was responsible for supervising building and repair projects on the Trione’s five ranches. 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 learning from his predecessor, whom was Vimark’s Vineyard Manager for forty years. All the while, Kris enhanced his field experience with viticulture classes at Santa Rosa Junior College.
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.”
At home, Kris and Denise are busy with their three young children Georgia, Gus and Greta and two dogs. Oscar and Scout, are often seen on the property or visiting neighboring wineries.