Hal Hinkle


Way back and a long time ago, I graduated with honors in Biochemistry from UC Irvine, the honors being based entirely on a sudden attack of seriousness at the end of my sophomore year. Having rarely been out of California, my not so obvious next stop was NY City to Columbia University. Based on a lack ample funding, I scooted through the MBA in16 months and graduated Beta Gamma Sigma (I guess that's like Phi Beta Kappa). In debt and intrigued, I was called the canyons of Wall Street where I worked for Goldman Sachs for 22 years. Following a three-day retirement, I started and ran BrokerTec Global for a consortium of global investment banks. After a successful start-up, BrokerTec became a leading electronic wholesale bond trading plat-form. BrokerTec was sold to ICAP PLC, the largest voice broker leaving me no choice but to retire again. During my time in finance, I also served as the Chairman of the Board ofDirectors for TradeWeb, LLC, a Director of the Public Securities Association("PSA"), the Chairman of the Mortgage Division of PSA and a member ofseveral non-profit boards. Early in my second retirement, I felt compelled to 'give back' a bit and established the Hinkle Charitable Foundation to advocate for musical, environmental and nutritional education. Here, my favorite projects were a 'pure waste' challenge series and the Digital Bach Series.  I also felt compelled to stop loafing around and began doctoral studies at the Center forNeurobiology and Behavior at the Columbia University Medical Center and was selected as a Graduate Research Fellow of the National Science Foundation for three years. The question I first pursued in the neuroscience program was how the brain mediates music into emotion. In my music phase, I conducted several targeted studies on Dr. Oliver Sacks that were featured in a PBS Nova television special. My interest in the musical brain expanded to the broader human reward system and I concluded my PhD work in late 2012 with studies of how exercise modulates appetite and cognitive control over food cues in the environment. In 2009, I found myself in Geyserville, CA, the capital of Sonoma County's wine country. The 2010 purchase of the 140-year old Fay Ranch allowed me to establish Sei Querce Vineyards with the goal of being one of the ecologically conserved agricultural properties in Sonoma County. Subsequently, the adjoining Ellis Ranch was acquired to became part of Sei Querce. Recently, the old Geyserville Post Office was acquired and is being remodeled to become Geyserville Green to help bring the products of the farm into the town.  To express my commitment for fighting climate change, in 2016 I took over the leadership of BamCore LLC, a new company, which makes bamboo-based building products derived from a brilliant set of ideas that embody a uniquely beneficial carbon footprint.  And I serve as members of the Strategic Task Force for the Pepperwood Preserve Foundation and the Climate Action Advisory Committee for the Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Agency.   My greatest loves are music, nature, family and hard work (some pathology no doubt).

Sei Querce Alumni


Andrew Harkeness


My childhood years were divided between city life in Edinburgh and country life in western rural of Scotland where my grandparents' generation was dairy farmers and sheepherders. The family's agricultural legacy and my years of roaming the fields of Wigtownshire must have planted agrarian seeds deep in my psyche and put a sprinkle of rich soil in my blood. Still, the cold Scottish winters were no match for the lure of a sunny California girl and by the early 1990s I and my new wife, Sara, found ourselves in Sonoma County. Like so many others, Sonoma cast its spell on Sara and me as we were enchanted by the delightful Mediterranean climate and the beauty of the rural landscapes. After graduating from the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University, I reluctantly moved south so that I could pursue my desire to work in the sustainable solar energy field. But even ten years with busy careers could not break the spell that Sonoma County had cast and so Sara and I returned to Sonoma buying a home in West County. While renovating our house, I did some farm volunteering and was lead to Santa Rosa Junior College where my first course in sustainable agriculture germinated those agrarian seeds planted years before. The switch from harvesting electrons to harvesting food allowed me a year of work in the student work program at Shone Farm and I am now finishing my Associate of Science in Sustainable Agriculture at SRJC. In my time at Shone Farm, I developed a fascination with healthy soils and the dance of life within them on which plants and people depend. Learning to nurture the complex intertwining patterns that we call sustainable agriculture, in order to fill our bellies, pay our bills and wonder at the beauty of our world, is now my calling. That I found my way to the beautiful fields of Six Oaks Farm seems simply natural.