Tom is a true veteran with more than 40 years experience as an advisor in the overall management and technical services of agricultural land, spanning 100,000 acres and countless crops throughout the US and abroad. But Tom’s true love and passion is expressed in his work with vineyards, and Shadybrook Estate has been fortunate to work with him since day one.
While a student at UC Berkley in the early 1960s Tom interned with the Niagra Chemical division of FMC Corp. each summer until graduation in 1965. He then became FMC’s Territory Manager in western Fresno County, honing his skills as an agronomist while also supervising several family owned vineyards in Fresno and Madera counties until the final property was sold in 1982.
In January, 1970 Tom founded Crop Care Associates Inc. in Fresno, CA and moved it to Napa in the early 1980s. Tom’s first north coast clients in 1972 were the venerable vineyards of Robert Mondavi and Korbel. In the years that followed, Tom’s enviable client list grew to a virtual “who’s who” of wine country icons that encompasses more than 20,000 vineyard acres in California including the Central Coast, Napa, Sonoma, and Mendicino. He also advises clients on their viticultural projects in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Armenia, and Costa Rica.
Crop Care Associates, Inc. is now one of the largest independent agricultural technology consulting firms in California, advising clients in all technical areas of crop management and development. But even with Tom’s busy and far reaching schedule, he has taken a very personal interest in Shadybrook Estate with a committed and surprisingly hands-on approach working with the entire team on a regular basis.
Tom is a recognized authority in the art of marrying soil types, varietals, clones and rootstocks in order to maximize both crop quality and farming efficiency. His inherent feel for the vineyard goes far beyond the text book and theories of others to encompass his vast hands-on experience with wine grapes and other agricultural crops.
Tom’s vast personal experience, coupled with his immense knowledge of all aspects in planting, growing, and vineyard care, make him an indispensable part of the Shadybrook Estate team. Tom’s expert advice and decisions are geared not only to address today’s challenges but, even more importantly, are focused on how the overall health of the vineyard will be impacted for years to come.
As of February 1st, 2016, Tom has joined the team at the Alkosser's newest property, Chateau Lane Winery, to develop the tremendous inherent potential of the estate's Reverance Vineyard. We can't wait to taste the fruit that his gentle hands, broad knowledge base, and meticulous attention to detail will surely coax from these vines!