Tyler Klick literally stomped his first grapes at his family’s Lake County vineyard when he was just six years old.
To take a break from their logging and lumber business in Mendocino County, each summer Klick and his family would spend time at their vineyard where they would take to wine making the old-fashioned way, with the kids being the premier grape stompers.
But when it came time for college, Klick decided to turn his attention to sports medicine and went off to St. Mary’s college to study Health Science. Spending every summer helping in his family’s logging and vineyard business, Klick realized that his true passion was connected to the land and to the vineyards.
Following his junior year at St. Mary’s, Klick redirected his educational focus to the particulars of growing wine grapes, wine production and understanding every detail of the wine industry.
He transferred to UC Davis to study viticulture and enology and spent his summers working with Kevin and Linda Barr at Redwood Empire Vineyard Management (REVM) working in the field with the crews.
Klick did his internship at Kendall Jackson Winery to gain a better understanding of what happens to grapes after the winery receives them.
Following graduation from UC Davis, Klick went to work full-time at Redwood Empire Vineyards in 2000 where he worked his way up to viticulturist. In 2006 he became a co-owner. Klick led REVM to become the first certified sustainable vineyard management company in the State of California and is proud of REVM’s commitment to organic and sustainable practices making sure that any property the company puts its hands on is environmentally better after they are finished.
Klick oversees all traditional and specialty viticulture for REVM and continuously monitors new research and trends through his participation in industry organizations, conferences and symposiums including R.A.V.E. (Recent Advancements in Viticulture and Enology) and Code of Sustainability seminars.
In the past five years Klick has worked with the top wineries, consultants and winemakers, while farming high quality wine grapes in Sonoma Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Chalk Hill, Marin, Anderson Valley, Yorkville Highlands and even Clear Lake. The experience he has gained from the diversity of these regions has allowed him achieve excellence in all types of vineyards.
Commenting on his experience, Klick expressed his commitment to continued learning, “after 16 years in the industry, I still feel like a student of viticulture, constantly learning from the wide range of wonderful people that make our wine industry both fascinating and progressive.”
Klick is actively involved in creek restoration projects and certification programs such as Fish Friendly Farming, California Certified Organic Farmers, Organic Certifiers, and Certified CA Sustainable Winegrowing. He is also a member of the Alexander Valley Winegrowers and Russian River Valley Winegrowers, and is a member of American Society for Enology and Viticulture and the California Association of Winegrape Growers.
“Sonoma County is a special place to live and visit. Agriculture is an important part of the fabric that makes Sonoma County unique. I feel fortunate to have found my passion in viticulture and have a diverse area to work in. The Sonoma County Harvest Fair highlights the significance of Agriculture in Sonoma County. Past recipients of this award are Sonoma County’s Ag leaders and the reason why agriculture continues to succeed in Sonoma County. It is an honor to be selected for this award,” Klick said.
Klick lives in Healdsburg with his wife and high-school sweetheart, Karen, and their three children, Ele 14, Aiden 12 and Emersyn 10.
For his skills, dedication and commitment to excellence to the wine industry, the Harvest Fair is proud to honor Tyler Klick as this year’s Outstanding Young Farmer.
The 2013 Sonoma County Harvest Fair is set for October 4-6 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. For more information, visit www.harvestfair.org or call (707) 545-4203. You can also find "Sonoma County Harvest Fair" on Facebook.