Sonoma Valley Sun


Stornetta siblings collaborate on fifth-generation ag business

Posted on May 9, 2023 by Sonoma Valley Sun

The siblings are fifth generation farmers whose Stornetta family name has been associated with local agriculture for decades.

Matt Stornetta established his own vineyard management company, Stornetta Made Farming, in 2019. An immediate success, he is already farming 250 acres of premier vineyards in the Napa Valley and Sonoma County. Realizing he needed help with his expanding business, he reached out to his sister Mia Stornetta Leighton.

Matt Stornetta, Owner/Vineyard Manager and Mia Stornetta Leighton, Vineyard Operations Manager for Stornetta Made Farming

Matt Stornetta began working at La Prenda Vineyard Management in 2009. Promoted to Operations Manager, he got a glimpse of the entire wine industry from managing vineyards to producing wine to developing wine brands. He then worked three years as Director of Vineyard Operations for St. Supery Vineyards, followed by a year as Vineyard Manager for Barbour Vineyards Management and Development.

Mia Stornetta Leighton handled grower relations for Joel Gott starting in 2015, before moving on to Atlas Vineyard Management as their Winery Relations Manager. In that position, she sold wine grapes to buyers in Sonoma, Napa, and Oregon. She also managed the logistics of harvest and facilitated contract negotiations, where she helped vineyard owners sell grapes to wineries and supervised general operations.

They both both attended Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo where Matt studied Agriculture Business. Mia also studied Agriculture Business and received a minor in Soil Science. With both having various personal and professional accomplishments, they have now joined forces to create a unique vineyard management company. 

At a time when family endeavors are rare, they believe their sibling trust and bond adds strength to their efforts.

 Their goal is to work with growers to maximize each site and situation; every vineyard is unique. “It’s not one size fits all,” explains Matt Stornetta. “We collaborate with our growers to develop sustainable goals and we adapt our work in the vineyards to meet those expectations. We have skin in the game, so we creatively seek new alternatives instead of sticking to the status quo.”

 “It’s like we are matchmakers between wineries and vineyards,” says Mia Stornetta Leighton. “It’s not enough to farm sustainably, because our growers also need sustainable economics and longevity to pay their bills. We need to build relationships and trust. That takes time, but our family has been doing this for five generations, and there is nothing else my brother and I would rather do.”

Stornetta Made Farming is a full service vineyard management company providing solutions to every vineyard challenge including early vineyard development, land preparation, trellis layout, soil, weather and site analysis, and irrigation management. They provide vine planting, vine health assessment and solutions, weed and pest management, frost protection, and cultivation. 

Additionally, Stornetta Made Farming helps with compliance requirements, vineyard budgeting and analysis as well as investment analysis. They will even handle equipment repairs and maintenance.

 The siblings are excited about the collaboration. “Mia is an incredible addition,” says brother Matt. “I am thrilled we get to work together.”

Their approach is to help their clients achieve sustainability objectives, and continue to showcase the beautiful region they call home.  “We grew up in agriculture,” Mia says. “We want no other careers, but we have a fascination with the business and science of the wine industry.”  

Their company has a responsibility to our clients and the vineyards to provide the best, most effective service it can offer, Matt believes. “Being given this responsibility in such a special part of the wine world, is a gift. In the end, I love the fragility of the whole endeavor. We are stewards. Doing the job right takes time and patience. That’s where our experience and expertise come into the equation. Our clients need assistance, and we can provide it.”

 — By Lance Cutler | Special to The Sun


2 thoughts on “Stornetta siblings collaborate on fifth-generation ag business

  1. Happy for the two. Best wishes for further developments in the industry.

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