Meet the Sierra Vista Team
Jim, his wife Sherry and daughter Savanna are incredibly excited to be the new owners of Sierra Vista. Jim & Sherry have dreamed of owning a vineyard since their first trip to Tuscany back in the early 2000s. Jim built and grew a commercial tile company called Great Lakes Tile & Contracting into one of the most successful and respected tile contracting companies in Michigan. Prior to being in the tile business, he spent 12 years working at General Motors World Technical Center as a Journeyman Wood Model Maker, building patterns and models for prototype vehicles. He was also very fortunate to grow up with a father that was a mentor and best friend. Together with Jim’s brother Bob, the three of them restored many old cars, fixed and built everything around the home and work together in the plastic injection molding trade for some time.
Coming into the wine business is a new venture for Jim and his family, but pride, passion, tenacity, and hard work are nothing new to him. His personality traits and business sense are what drives success, teamwork, camaraderie and customer experience. When not being involved in the business side of things, Jim enjoys time spent with family especially their 11-year daughter Savanna who models, acts, plays piano and violin, and successfully competes in pageants.
Ryan was born and raised in Placerville. While pursuing a degree in Forestry, at the age of 22, he began working part time at a winery. He began on the sales side, then quickly shifted into the cellar, and a few years later he became the assistant winemaker. In this position he began to develop and explore his own winemaking style- with opportunities each year to make one or two of his own wines. Having an insatiable appetite for knowledge in all things wine making- he considers himself a constant student of the industry. His passion for winemaking is only rivaled by his love for vineyard care and management. So, if you can’t find him in the cellar- you are likely to find him on a tractor or in the vineyard.”
Marketing and Website Management
Natalie was born and raised in Shelby Township, Michigan. She graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. She spent a few years working in the marketing field until she met Jim and started working at his other business, Great Lakes Tile, as an Estimator. When Jim purchased Sierra Vista, Natalie took on the Marketing role with her previous experience and began redesigning all of the new event flyers, website, marketing materials and updating social media.
When Natalie isn’t working she’s spending time raising her thirteen-year-old son who plays football, basketball and runs track and her seven-year-old daughter who cheers on a competitive team. Natalie’s multitasking abilities, organizational skills, and eye for detail are what makes her so great at her job.
Well Hello there!
My name is Cindy Middleman. I am a mother to 4 beautiful daughters and a “MIMI” to 2 handsome little grandsons. I just turned the fabulous 50!
I have worked as a commercial driver, healthcare worker and now the best for last….your new event’s coordinator at Sierra Vista Winery! So I say to you…..WINE ON MY FRIENDS🍷
Tasting Room Host
Hi! I’m Jaclynn. As a previous business owner on Main Street, I have loved this town and community for many years …. My husband and I have been married for 19 years. We have three amazing kids. We love the outdoors, excellent food, and spending time together as a family. My favorite wine is Fleur De Montagne. I love meeting all of the new and beautiful people at Sierra Vista !
Tasting Room Host
Eileen lives in El Dorado Hills with her husband, and beloved cat Tibby and dog named Koda. She’s the proud mother of two outstanding daughters. She works primarily as a special educator, and is at Sierra Vista on the weekends.
She is our culinary artist, and can always be found with a smile on her face.
Hello. I am Tim Fifer and live in Placerville with my beautiful wife. I’m retired from Southwest Airlines. I love working at Sierra Vista Winery and meeting new people. I also enjoy going to Tahoe and hanging out on the beach.
Tasting Room Host
A long-time Placerville resident, Carissa is a local high school English teacher and yoga teacher. As a self-proclaimed wine enthusiast, she’s delighted to join the Sierra Vista Winery team and pour wine for other happy wine lovers. When Carissa isn’t dazzling young minds with her developing classroom comedy routine (or rather trying to convince them reading is fun) or at the yoga studio teaching, she’s traveling the world with her husband and daughter and dreaming about her future ex-pat life in a place that must, obviously, have great wine, views, and cheese. Come find Carissa at our events and say hi — she loves meeting new people!
Tasting Room Host
Leah Applegarth is a local El Dorado County resident with 20+ years experience teaching high school math in Placerville. She is excited to pursue her love of wine and the foothills at Sierra Vista Winery.
Tracy was born in Michigan and currently lives in Rochester Hills, Michigan with her husband Dan and their dog. She has worked in bookkeeping and Administration for over 20 years. In 2021 after Covid subsided, she wanted to find a way to incorporate her love of wine into her work & was lucky enough to connect with the owner Jim in Michigan to work remotely for the winery in California. Tracy loves being part of the Sierra Vista team & learning more about wine every day. She hopes to continue her knowledge in this industry for many years to come.
Lucy was a feral kitten who started hanging around the winery and eventually became an important team member. She sleeps inside at night and has food, water and a couple beds, but spends her days mostly roaming around the property keeping an eye on things. She is very friendly and enjoys attention and being pet. In her spare time she likes naps, hunting lizards and voles, and receiving treats for being a good cat!