Mark Sanchietti is a fourth generation member of West Sonoma County’s Sanchietti family. The Sanchiettis have been an part of the Sonoma County agricultural legacy since 1919 when Luigi and Filomina Sanchietti immigrated from Italy and settled on a property on Irwin Lane on the Santa Rosa Plains. The land was in vineyards when the couple purchased it, but Prohibition caused the market for wine grapes to collapse. To keep the farm profitable, they planted prunes and walnuts and raised poulty for the egg market.
In 1943, when wartime abundance left Mark Sanchietti’s grandfather, Gus, with a glut of rotting fruit on the property, he and other Sonoma County farmers stopped at a vacant lot on Market Street and Duboc Avenue in San Francisco and began selling their pears and apples at bargain prices. They returned to the same spot week after week, establishing what would eventually become the San Francisco Famer’s market.
“I have a friend who was a dairy major. His dad called and said, ‘We sold all the cows.’ He was devastated. I couldn’t imagine hearing that.”
Mark grew up working closely with his father, Mel Sanchietti. Mel farmed the family property and had a custom farming business. In addition, he had a 35-year career with Korbel Winery as vice president of vineyard operations. Like his father, Mark loves farming, has a strong work ethic, and decided at a young age that he would join the family business. Mark attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he studied agriculture business, wine and viticulture. He has served on the Sonoma County Winegrowers’ board of directors since 2014, and has served the past two years as Treasurer. Mark is a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where he studied agriculture business, wine and viticulture.
Mark and his wife, Jenny, founded Sanchietti Farming and grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes in western Sonoma. In 2012, Mark was awarded the Outstanding Young Farmer Award from the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, following his father who had won the award years earlier. In 2017, Mark was named as one of the North Bay Business Journal’s “40 Under 40,” award winners. Additionally, the Sanchietti family recently received the Farm Family of the Year Award at the Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s Love of the Land event.
Mark enjoys living on the family’s farm and spending time with his two young boys, Mason and Meritt.