Tom Simoneau, the KSRO Wine Guy for the past twenty years, knows the wine business. A grape grower, a winemaker, a wine marketer, wine educator, wine judge and wine critic, Tom Simoneau is the walking definition of “Wine Guy”.
Born in Maine and educated in Boston, Tom shunned graduate school at Boston University to form a country rock and roll band. It was his musical career that eventually placed Simoneau in wine country. “We based our California operation in Healdsburg because it reminded us of Maine and it was close enough to San Francisco, so we could pursue our dream of a record deal.”
In 1982, with Simoneau’s musical career now over (no record deal) life took an unlikely turn. Simoneau, a bass player with a BA in psychology, took a job as one of the original wine telemarketers at Windsor Vineyards. “I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to talk to people about wine,” Simoneau remembers.
In 1983 Tom made his first wine and yes, he crushed the grapes with his feet.
In 1988, now married to his childhood sweetheart, a fellow Mainer, Tom and Brenda purchased 12½ acres in Alexander Valley. Simoneau Vineyards was born with 10 acres planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
In 1992 Simoneau won the prestigious Sonoma County Harvest Fair Sweepstake Award for the Best Amateur Red Wine for his 1990 Meritage. It was this award that caused KSRO Radio to pursue Tom as their radio Wine Guy.
Now, twenty years later, Simoneau is considered one of Sonoma County’s leading wine business experts. His wine minutes are now heard 6 days a week on KSRO in Santa Rosa, California.
Tom can also be found teaching wine classes as an adjunct professor at Santa Rosa Junior College and judging wines at various national wine competitions.
With the 2005 vintage Tom and Brenda will release their first commercial
Simoneau Cabernet Sauvignon.