Staglin Family Vineyard
We invite you to visit us at the Staglin Family Vineyard located on the Rutherford Bench. Upon arrival at the Steckter House, the original homestead built in 1864 and renovated in 2010, you will be greeted with a glass of our estate Chardonnay. After an introduction to the property you will be guided on a short walk through the vineyards to our winery caves for a brief tour of our production facility. Upon return to the Steckter House you and your guests will enjoy an intimate tasting of Cabernet Sauvignons produced on the estate.
Located in the heart of Rutherford, California.
- Great wines for great causes.
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Average Bottle Price
Fredrik Johansson is focused and passionate about making wine. He previously worked with consulting winemaker, Thomas Rivers Brown, taking the traditional route of an apprentice to acquire his knowledge and expertise. He began his education at Nicholson Ranch in Sonoma, continued it at Two Hands Wines in Australia and honed it further at Outpost Wines on Howell Mountain where he also oversaw several of Thomas' consulting projects, including Schrader Cellars and Maybach Family Vineyards. Now that Fredrik is at Staglin, he says, “My goal is to make the best possible wine with the fruit from this vineyard without letting what I do in the winery get in the way. It's such an amazing vineyard that I feel a responsibility to help it express itself to its fullest.”
Andre Tchelistcheff's wisdom is a constant goal, his words continue to be an important tool for making the best wine possible from our estate. Not surprising since Tchelistcheff was so familiar with the terroir of the Rutherford area, the first to pinpoint the unique flavor profile of wines produced from fruit grown on the Rutherford benchlands.
Michel Rolland joined Staglin Family Vineyard in 2000 as our Winemaking Consultant. He visits the property several times a year to walk the vineyard, share viticultural recommendations and provide us with his expertise during blending trials. With Michel's guidance, we began to blend our estate wines in two tiers under the Staglin and Salus labels, similar to the Premier Cru and Deuxieme Cru distinctions in the Medoc of Bordeaux. His outside perspective, wealth of knowledge and expert palate are key components in our journey to continually enhance the quality of Staglin Family Vineyard wines.
In 1868, 47 year-old John Steckter, and his wife Mary E. Harris Steckter, purchased a 367 acre parcel for $34 an acre from Serranus Clinton Hastings, one of the wealthiest pioneers and capitalists of early California. They cleared the land and built a large wood frame residence and several barns on their new farm where they propagated 60 acres of grapes surrounding the home dedicating the remaining acreage for cattle and wheat. In 1877 a local newspaper described their Rutherford property as, “a fine dwelling upon the rising ground near the foothills..” In this home John and Mary raised their six children, four daughters and two sons.
After the death of John Steckter in 1904, Mary was forced to sell the property due to litigation at which time it passed through several different owners before it was purchased in 1922 by Frank G. Manley, a mysterious gold and oil tycoon who made his fortune in the territory of Alaska while on the run from the law in Texas. He and his wife Lucile and their extended family lived in their country estate amongst the vineyards, walnut trees and prune orchards.
In 1963 the parcel sold to the Sullivan family with marriage ties to the de Latour family who owned Beaulieu Vineyards (BV). Already having a home, the Sullivans parceled off the home and sold it as a separate home site. Under the watchful eye of Andre Tchelistcheff the prune orchard was removed and new vines were planted for BV's exclusive Georges de Latour Private Reserve label. After the death of Louise Sullivan in 1984, the property was left to her stepson Walter H. Sullivan, Jr.
Staglin Family Vineyard - Steckter House
In 1985, the Staglin family, purchased this historic estate on the Rutherford Bench. It seems incredible that after much searching this unique parcel became available to the Staglins by sheer word of mouth and good timing.
With a strong respect for the former proprietors they have worked closely with Andre Tchelistcheff to bridge his knowledge of this unique land. In 2007 they purchased the original Steckter home, reuniting it with the surrounding acreage of which it had been a part for 140 years.
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. She uses her Spanish daily on the vineyard.
While at 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 both received their bachelor’s degrees in 1966, and she later got her MPA at NYU in 1975, after working for a Senator in D.C. and the NYC Health and Human Services Administration.
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 the Bay Area’s Emergency Medical Services and in Executive Search in the health and hospital field. She and Garen continued to enjoy their pursuit of wine with visits to Napa Valley.
After purchasing the vineyard in 1985, Shari returned to school at UC Davis to do graduate work in viticulture and enology. But she learned even more on her weekly treks to their vineyard to meet with David Abreu, then and still their vineyard manager and with their winemaker. Both the academic and practical education provided Shari with the foundation for managing this major investment hands on.
Shari founded and 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. She is passionate about raising monies for important causes, most notably brain 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.
Garen And Shari:
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.
Practices & Techniques
In the spring the property is blooming with a variety of cross-pollinating plants, including over 300 olive trees and five kinds of clover. Sweet peas, native grasses, vetch, and mustard grow in abundance. At bud break we mow and spade these cover crops into the soil to release nutrients which also create warmth for the vines while they break down. The estate is abuzz with wildlife including dragonflies, ladybugs, jackrabbits, finches and red-tailed hawks to name a few; a sign the vineyard is in good health and proof of the abundance of life present in our vineyard.
Since David Abreu began farming our vineyard, he has used his 30 years of experience to take care of it as if it were his own. He has helped us to farm 100% organically, certified by the CCOF. During each growing season, our vineyard crew thins the clusters two to four times to balance each vine. Those clusters that remain get more nutrients and grow grapes with optimal flavor.
David has not only helped maintain biodiversity throughout the property, he's also helped us make the individual vines more biodiverse by planting a variety of clone and rootstock combinations throughout our Cabernet, Chardonnay, and Sangiovese blocks. The result: a high degree of complexity in our wines, resulting from the myriad flavor profiles of each different section of our vineyard.