Garen and Shari were able to purchase this Rutherford Bench estate in 1985 after spending many years learning about wine together. Their longtime dream to farm a vineyard and produce wines of great quality was something they wanted to share with their family. To encourage active participation Brandon and Shannon were offered a small cash gift to invest in the vineyard. Today all members of the family work in day to day operations of the vineyard and winery. Shannon serves as President, Brandon as Director of Marketing Communications, Shari as Chief Executive Officer and Garen as the Public Relations Manager.
The first years of Shari's life were spent in South Dakota, mostly in the sleepy prairie town of Mitchell. She loved visiting her grandparents' farm, riding horses at a friend's ranch, and singing as a soloist at church. The harvest festival was the highlight of the year, including a special musical performer at the Corn Palace, like Lawrence Welk or Patty Page, a carnival that closed down Main Street and best of all getting out of school early to enjoy the festivities. When Shari was twelve, her family moved to Southern California, where she studied Spanish leading to time spent as an exchange student in Mexico during high school. Upon entering Compton Junior College, she worked full time at night in the aerospace industry and saved to go to UCLA. At UCLA she met Garen on a blind date when they were 19 and was immediately charmed by his sense of humor. They graduated together in 1966, and she later went on to get her MPA at NYU in 1975, after a stint for a Senator in D.C. and at the Health and Human Services Administration in New York. After the birth of their first child, Brandon, the family returned to California where Shannon was born. Shari juggled family life and a career in Executive Search in the health and hospital field while she and Garen continued to enjoy their pursuit of wine with visits to Napa Valley.
After purchasing the vineyard in 1985, Shari left her career in Executive Search and wasn't content to sit on the sidelines. Instead she returned to school at UC Davis to complete graduate work in viticulture and enology. Once a week she traveled to Napa to meet with vineyard manager, David Abreu, to learn about grape growing and visited with winemaker Bob Levy to learn more about wine production. Both the academic and practical education provided Shari with the foundation for managing this major investment hands on.
Shari has guided Staglin Family Vineyard as CEO since it began in 1985 and is the driving force behind the company's continued pursuit of excellence. She takes great pride in embracing her roots as a farmer and shows her appreciation of this gift by raising monies for important causes, most notably mental health research.
Garen's Italian heritage has always influenced Staglin Family Vineyard. Born in 1944, he learned early in this life the importance of wine to the quality of life from his father, Pasquale Stagliano (later changed to Ramon Staglin when he was naturalized) and his mother Darlene Guilliams. Family dinners with relatives and friends were almost always accompanied by wine, and Garen often got a little glass of wine with club soda to taste. As he grew up in Southern California, Garen started to learn more about wine through books and importantly, numerous tastings. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in electrical and nuclear engineering he was fortunate to be accepted to Stanford Business School in the late 60's. While there, he and Shari would take day trips to visit the vineyards in Napa back in the days when surprisingly there were only six wineries in Napa! They were so impressed they felt that it was one of the greatest places on earth, and someday they had to find a way to come back and make their life here.
When he finished Stanford with an MBA, Shari and Garen were married and they traveled to Japan where Garen served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and fought in the Vietnam War. After a year, he was transferred to the Pentagon and worked in the Systems Analysis Group under Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara. While in DC, Garen's passion for wine was cultivated by frequent trips to the main wine shop in DC where favorable import taxation allowed him to purchase 1st Growth Bordeaux for less than $10/bottle. When he was discharged from the Navy, they headed north to New York City where Garen began what has become a lifelong career in venture capital and investments. Frequenting New York's finest wine shops became a Saturday morning tradition. As Garen searched for bargains he found himself experimenting with new varietals to extend his knowledge.
Garen remains active in the world of venture capital and private equity investing, serving on public and private Board of Directors. He couldn't be happier balancing his time between winemaking, investing, and philanthropy all the time enjoying a wonderful marriage and family, and the pride of having his family all working together at Staglin Family Vineyard.
Together Garen and Shari learned about wine, first through his parents at meals where they served good California or Italian wines, and then later when Garen went to Stanford Business School and Shari would go north to visit. They would often spend a day in Napa Valley, where their dream began to one day have a vineyard and make wines of great quality. In 1968 they married, went to Vietnam, Japan, Washington, D.C., then New York where their first child Brandon was born in 1971.
When it was time to move back to California in 1975, one of the key criteria for where to live was proximity to wine country, so he and Shari chose Lafayette, CA, only one hour from Napa and 3 hours from Tahoe for skiing. 1979 proved to be a year of prosperity for the Staglin's giving birth to their second child. This year also marked their purchase of their first company. After many years of rapid growth, they were able to sell a portion of this business, creating capital to finally pursue their dream and become owners of a premier vineyard in the Napa Valley.
By the end of 1985, the dream came true with the purchase of the historic 50 acre vineyard owned by Beaulieu Vineyards and an adjacent 12 acre parcel. Using their contacts and background, Garen and Shari built a business and marketing plan that remains the foundation of Staglin Family Vineyard: family ownership, commitment to quality, and a personal approach to selling and encouraging memorable experiences. Brandon and Shannon grew up on the property, pursued their education and have both returned with new perspectives and experiences to rejoin the family business. They hope to cultivate this tradition for many generations to come.
Shannon Staglin is President at Staglin Family Vineyard. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in Cultural Anthropology she moved back to Napa to work as a harvest intern in 2001 where she learned the details of production and viticultural practices. In 2002 she moved from the winery into the office where she honed her skills in marketing, hospitality, consumer and trade sales. After earning her MBA from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management she chose to work for several years outside of the wine business to gain insight, a different perspective and valuable experience that she could one day share with Staglin Family Vineyard. She was recruited to create the marketing program for Wells Fargo Family Wealth, providing multifamily office solutions to ultra-high net worth client families.
In 2011 Shannon returned to Staglin Family Vineyard where she oversees all aspects of the business. Her educational and professional experiences provide a new perspective and a fresh outlook that will enhance the family business for many years to come.
Brandon Staglin is Director of Marketing Communications for both Staglin Family Vineyard and the International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO). Having overcome many challenges in his life, including the diagnosis of schizophrenia in 1990, Brandon's strength, intelligence and passion add a tremendous value to both organizations. Graduating from Dartmouth College in 1993 with degrees in Engineering Sciences and Anthropology, he began to pursue his childhood dream in aerospace engineering. Later, he made a career change and began working in website development.
Today, Brandon oversees the web design, content and development for both websites. A highlight of his work is his video feature and open Q&A session to connect the public with mental health scientists, posted monthly on the IMHRO website. Several years ago Brandon married Nancy Abreu and the two live happily in Napa with their dog Cooper.