A fourth generation California farmer, Tom earned a business degree from Stanford and spent the first part of his career as a management consultant at the San Francisco office of the prestigious global management firm McKinsey & Company. One project during this time was evaluating a small winery in the Russian River Valley called Rodney Strong Vineyards and, in a chance meeting, he was introduced to founder Rod Strong and winemaker Rick Sayre. Already developing an interest in wine, this encounter planted a seed that would grow into a lifelong passion.
In 1984, Tom returned to Klein Brothers International, his family’s agricultural products trading company. He travelled extensively in his position, and had the opportunity to research the wine industry in many parts of the world, all the while developing his palate and his passion for wine. In 1989, Tom and his family purchased Rodney Strong Vineyards and began a pursuit of excellence that would put their wines on the world stage and make the winery a leader in the movement towards sustainability. In his own words, “We are committed to quality in every aspect: in the top-flight wines we strive to produce, in the Sonoma County lifestyle, and in the talented people we employ. We are always seeking new ways to fulfill this commitment.”