May 10, 2018
Moms and Daughters Working Together—in Wine!
What it's like to have your mom as your boss, mentor, and partner.
Rickey Trombetta Stancliff and Erica Stancliff, Trombetta Family Wines
Rickey Trombetta Stancliff and her daughter Erica started as home winemakers in Forestville, Sonoma County. When Erica graduated from Fresno State with her B.S. in Enology in 2010 they started Trombetta Family Wines. Today the winery is focused on chardonnay and pinot noir from small premium sites in Sonoma County, all hand harvested and limited production. As the winemaker, Erica walks the vineyards, handles grower relations, presides over the harvest and is in charge of everything that happens from grape to bottle. Rickey heads up sales, marketing, hospitality, events, and working with distributors across the country.
Rickey says it’s their complementary skill sets that make their working relationship so fruitful: “I have years of experience in the wine industry working in sales, marketing, hospitality and event planning, while Erica has the production and technical background to make the wine and the palate for sensory evaluation. And Erica is also a big help in the kitchen. She has a very sensitive palate and is able to help me with adjusting seasonings in the dishes I make.”
Of course it’s not without its challenges. Says Erica, “we are business partners but Rickey is also my mother. Mostly we have learned how to respect each other’s opinions even if we don't agree.” Rickey understands that having a finger on the pulse of her daughter’s generation is essential for the future of the business: “Erica's age group has a different lens than my age group. It helps us approach problems from other angles. It is exciting to watch her grow as an adult. Listening to Erica make presentations, sit on panel discussions, and meet and greet customers makes me so proud of the smart, beautiful, articulate daughter she is.”
Try Their Wine: Trombetta Family Wines Gaps Crown Pinot Noir 2014, $65