USA – Staglin Family Vineyard
When Shari Staglin recently came to visit the Lifford offices she told us Staglin Family Vineyard was all about three things. Family. History. And quality.
Family. Garen and Shari Staglin met on a blind date at UCLA at 19. In the early days of their relationship, Shari, who as a good South Dakotan ‘drank milk, not wine,’ developed a fondness for wine through exposure to Garen and his family, who came from Calabria.
Fast forward to 1985, when the Staglins were able to fulfill their dream and purchase a historic property on the Rutherford Bench in Napa Valley. They gave their children Shannon and Brandon, then 6 and 13, a token sum so they could be founding investors. 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.
History. The property is one of the oldest in Napa, originally planted in 1864 by John and Mary Steckter, who produced wine until prohibition. In 1965, the legendary André Tchelistcheff replanted the vineyard to Cabernet, and later Chardonnay (Shari’s request) in the clay soils down by the creek. In 2007, the original 1864 Steckter house was acquired back into the property and restored.
Quality. There is nothing left to chance in the pursuit of quality. David Abreu, regarded as the best viticulturalist in Napa, has looked after the vineyards for over 25 years. Rock star oenologist Michel Rolland has been on board since 1999.
To maintain the pristine quality, the organically farmed grapes are harvested in nighttime ‘micropicks’, over a 6-8 week period. In the winery, they receive a kid glove treatment and the finest French oak .
The resulting wines really must be tasted to be comprehended. The concentration and length on these wines is simply stunning. This is Napa in all its glory.
• ”Second” label Salus (Sa-loose) is named after the Roman goddess of health. All profits from these wines go towards mental health research and treatment. Brandon lives with schizophrenia; the Staglins are global leaders in raising funds and awareness for research into mental illness.
• Staglin makes a very limited production Sangiovese called Stagliano, an homage to Garen’s father’s given name, Pasquale Stagliano. He changed it to Staglin to get work as a saxophone player at the Astor Hotel.
• Staglin recently acquired rights to the Chardonnay from Bella Oaks Vineyard – you might remember the delicious Heitz Bella Oaks Chardonnay from the Lifford portfolio.