“You don’t want to be patted on the back all your life but it sure feels good to be honored like this,” exclaimed Buck. “It’s real nice.”
Every morning Buck Sangiacomo meets with his family over breakfast to discuss the daily operations for stewarding their 1,600 acres of vineyards in Sonoma County. Buck’s dedication to his family, the land, and to the greater agricultural community have shaped how grapes are grown today. Through sharing knowledge, honoring tradition, and embracing new technology, Buck continues to mentor the next generation of farmers. It is because of Buck’s commitment to the preservation of land and community that the Sonoma County Harvest Fair is honored to present him with the 2016 Lifetime Contribution to Sonoma County Agriculture award.
A true farmer at heart, Buck understands the importance of sustainability. Along with his siblings, he has carefully cultivated the Sangiacomo land and vines to produce top-tier grapes year after year. Decades of planting cover crops have demonstrated how the natural nutrient levels in soil can be built up to provide rich land for years to come. Seasonal methods of reducing pests, using natural composts, and implementing innovative harvesting techniques have lured farmers from all over Sonoma County to learn from the Sangiacomo family. And as they have done from generation to generation, the Sangiacomos share their knowledge of soil, climate, and technology with local growers to help the region flourish.
As a second-generation farmer, Buck learned to work the land from his father, the late Vittorio Sangiacomo. He worked after school and during the summers alongside his brothers Angelo and Bob and his sister Lorraine. Today Buck continues to mentor the next generation --- Mike and Steve Sangiacomo and Mia Sangiacomo Pucci --- who run the day-to-day operation of the family business. The Sangiacomo family bond is strong and carries a legacy of perseverance withstanding even the Great Depression. It is with this strength and collaboration that the family works together today to preserve their farm and to provide opportunity for the next of kin. Moreover their diverse experience and collective knowledge have earned the Sangiacomos respect and loyalty from top wine producers in Sonoma County and beyond.