Tom Higgins - Owner, Winemaker, Vineyard Manager
Tom's wine seed was planted back when he worked for Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards while in High School. In college, his wine club subscriptions and choice in beverages certainly made his peers wonder, but he continued his pursuits nonetheless.
After a stint in the technology boom of the late 90's, Tom decided to follow his heart and return to the wine industry. He began working at Zachy's Wine & Liquor where he was exposed to the broader world of wine. Desiring more information on traditional wine making practices, Tom traveled to France to work and learn from producers that have been applying the same cellar techniques for centuries.
Upon his return to the United States, he sought out a harvest opportunity at Calera Wine Company located in Hollister, CA. Josh Jensen, owner and winemaker of Calera, was known as a Pinot Noir pioneer back in the the 1970's for his efforts to craft Burgundian-style Pinot Noir from his limestone laden soil.
After returning to the Finger Lakes from California, Tom worked for Thirsty Owl Wine Company and Atwater Estate Vineyards, while preparing to launch Heart & Hands. In 2008, his sacrifices and dreams came to fruition as the winery building was completed.
In addition to keeping busy at the winery, Tom provides winemaking and vineyard consulting services throughout the Finger Lakes and promotes Francois Freres barrels in the northeastern United States. He also is a Board Member of Finger Lakes Wine Alliance.