The Garvin Family took ownership of what is now the Sam’s Valley Vineyard in the early 1990’s. At the age of 70, Vern Garvin decided to build one more business. In 1999 Vern began the process of starting the vineyard.
Vern and his wife Dorothy had a lot of excitement through the years and lived life to the fullest. The couple was married in 1956 in Brookings, Oregon and had their first child, Lee in February of 1959. Their second child, Roy was born in May of 1960, and their only daughter Ruth came along in July of 1962. All three children were always involved in the family businesses including a cable company, radio communications and 24 hour answering services. The Garvin children could often be found on the pulling cable, working on the switchboard or doing whatever else was needed to help in building the success that the family has always achieved.
Vern was the vineyard manager supported by Dorothy from the initial ground break of the vineyard in 1999. In 2009 at the age of 78, Vern passed away, leaving a legacy of entrepreneurship, stewardship and a blueprint for success to his family and community.
Dorothy continues to actively participate in the growth of both the vineyard and the winery. She currently spends half of her time at the Vineyard property and the other half in a small coastal town on the Oregon/California border where the family roots run four generations deep.
Lee Garvin took over the family’s communication business after graduating from college and was also involved in the cable business. He spent some time in New Zealand looking at the opportunity to build a cable system but his love of flying had taken hold. Lee became a pilot for CalOre Life Flight and is currently the Corporate Pilot and Purchasing Agent for South Coast Lumber in Brookings.
Roy Garvin completed his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Lewis and Clark College. During his senior year he worked in a research laboratory where he studied Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Through this work in MS he was offered the chance to undertake his masters and PhD at the University of London. While in the UK he joined forces with Alasdair Burns to start a laboratory consumables company, Microstein. The company focuses on ergonomics in the laboratory. They relocated to the Rogue Valley in 2004 to establish manufacturing facilities. The move allowed Roy to be more involved in the vineyard when needed, even dabbling in winemaking. In his spare time, he continues his research into the causes of MS, and he trains and competes with his own Grand Prix dressage horse.
Ruth received her bachelor’s degree from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon and bought a neighborhood coffee shop in the Portland area not long after. The neighborhood
coffee shop, Papaccino’s, grew in size and expanded. Ruth owned and operated the coffee shops until 2008 when she sold her last two shops and began full time work in the family business. She now oversees all the marketing, distribution and sales operations for Sam’s Valley Vineyard and Cliff Creek Cellars.
Kelly is the first born child of Lee and Cristi Garvin. After completing her Masters of Teaching in Sitka Alaska, she continues living and teaching there. She has always beeninvolved in sports and enjoys coaching basketball and softball. Like all of the family, she enjoys the great outdoors and is taking the opportunities of living in Alaska to explore the highest mountain tops and the coldest waters. You might see her knee boarding in a wet suit in the Inland Passage or hiking a trail along a snow capped mountain top.
Born in 1987 Teri Garvin Wallin grew up in Brookings, OR. She was the second child to Lee and Cristi. Teri graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelors Degree in Business. She returned to Brookings and married Keith Wallin. She is employed by the School District and puts her degree to work.
Teri and Keith, both enjoyed sports through high school and find themselves now very involved in supporting the local teams through Keith’s coaching. When they have time you will most likely find them on a river bank or lake enjoying the wonders of the outdoors.
Cory Garvin is the third born child and only son of Lee and Cristi Garvin, Cory graduated from Brookings Harbor High in 2012 and has moved to Klamath Falls where he is working for a large dairy farm. Cory is proving his hard work ethic and his ability to learn things quickly. His love for animals helps him in his daily work. Farming has been a large part of the Garvin Family and Cory is looking at a future of carrying on this tradition.