Staglin Family Vineyard
Honorary Chair Persons
When Shari and Garen Staglin bought their 64 acre Staglin Family Vineyard in 1985, they had loved wine for almost twenty years, and hoped to produce their own wines for people to enjoy. They were lucky—they met Andre Tchelistcheff, who had made wines from that same Rutherford, Napa Valley vineyard since 1965. He taught them to “listen” to the vines, i.e., that great wine is made in the vineyard. They began to work with vineyard manager David Abreu then, who helped them replant and start to farm organically. Everything was falling into place.
They and their family underwent some difficult times when, in 1990, their son Brandon was diagnosed with schizophrenia. But, this led to the opportunity to pursue a new dream. Using the resources their winery had generated, they put on the first Music Festival for Mental Health in 1995. Since then, the annual Music Festival has raised and leveraged over $53 million for mental health research throughout the world. Their motto “great wines for great causes” is practiced by them every day.
Today, Shari and Garen Staglin eat, sleep, and breathe their winery and charity work. In the last 10 years they have raised over $680 million while at the same time, their estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay have been called “gorgeously rich” and “powerful but elegant” by Robert Parker and “tremendous” by James Laube. And Congressman Mike Thompson, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and soul singer Gladys Knight all pitched in to support them and their Music Festival event this year. One scientist calls them “venture capitalists of philanthropy,” since they seek effective research results with each dollar donated. They are truly grateful for the support they’ve found, and hope that their ability to help their causes will continue to grow and inspire others to join them.