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.