At Tierramar we pride ourselves on our most important asset - our employees! We have hand-picked a team of trained, competent, well-qualified, and experienced team members. Each of us has field experience, value a job well done and respect the work of everyone in the company. Many of us have worked together previously and know what it takes for a team to succeed. A big part of our job is keeping current on what is happening in the industry and we strive to keep abreast of trends and innovations. Our goal is to live by and put our core value of our relationships with our family, our co-workers and industry partners into everything we do. Come see what our team can do for you and your vineyard.
Founder and owner of Tierramar Vineyard Management, Jim McGarry, has more than 14 years’ experience in Vineyard Management. He gained valuable experience working in some of California’s most renowned grape growing regions. A graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science in Fruit Science, Jim’s career in vineyard management has included positions with Coastal Vineyard Care, Bacchus Vineyard Management, Jackson Family Wines, Premier Pacific Vineyards and Atlas Vineyard Management.
Jim has his QAL and is a licensed PCA. He has been involved in many wine industry associations and was previously on the board for CCWGA. Jim is a graduate of California Ag Leadership Program Class 43 and plans to continue to be a leader within the CA wine and agricultural industries. With experience in managing vineyards in Sonoma, Monterey and Santa Barbara counties, Jim understands what it takes to help his customers attain their goals and produce the highest grape quality possible for their site.
Jim and his wife Michele were born and raised in Santa Maria, CA. They have 2 children, Reagan and Henry. Jim and Michele both graduated from Cal Poly SLO and are both wine industry professionals. Michele is a regional sales manager for Seguin Moreau, selling oak barrels, tanks and oak alternatives to wineries throughout the central coast. They both share a passion for wine and the industry they work in. He and his wife Michele are members of the Santa Barbara County YF&R’s and are active in supporting local groups such as the Boys and Girls club and Rotary of Santa Maria.
Office Operations Manager
Much to her surprise Rikka is living and working in the Santa Ynez Valley. Born and raised in Solvang she left the Valley to attend college with plans of never returning.
Leaving the Valley, Rikka moved to Sonoma County and attended Sonoma State University where she earned a degree in Management. After college she continued to live, work and play in Sonoma and Napa County Counties.
She gained her agriculture and vineyard management experience thru many different positions including row crops, seed buyer, winery, and even as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher to farm workers. Finally she settled on vineyard work where she found she liked the people, being outside and the plant based nature of the work. She gained her vineyard experience in the Pope Valley region of Napa where she was lucky enough doing a mix of both field work and management duties. She returned to the Santa Ynez Valley in 2003.
Since returning home to her family in Solvang, Rikka has worked with three different vineyard management companies where she met both Jim and Alex. When Jim asked her to be part of the team at Tierramar, she jumped at the opportunity and never looked back. Rikka says that “Vineyard work is fascinating, it’s never the same, and each farming year brings something different”. She is happy to have landed at Tierramar and excited to bring her experience and expertise to the company to help it grow and flourish.
Who is our artist in residence - our upcoming viticulturist and our Safety Supervisor extraordinaire? That would be Alex Garcia of course! Alex is not only our Safety Supervisor but he also has a promising future as a viticulturist. And, as if that is not enough he is also a very talented artist.
Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, he has spent most of his life in Lompoc. Alex is fluent in both Spanish and English. He is currently enrolled at Allan Hancock College studying both Viticulture and Graphic Design. Alex is a second generation vineyard worker with more than 6 years’ experience. His first position was as a crew member where he learned the ins and outs of vineyard work. He quickly showed his potential and ability to take on many different vineyard tasks. Alex worked with both Jim and Rikka for 3 years previously before joining them at Tierramar.
Along with his many other “titles,” Alex is a jack of all trades. He has made it his job to learn as much as he can about vineyard management, but his focus on safety and compliance along with his attitude of “Safety First” with his top priority being to ensure all the Tierramar employees are safe and happy make him a star employee.
Walter is a well-qualified Vineyard Manager. His Bachelor of Science in Soil Science and his minor in Wine and Viticulture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo prepared Walter well for the vineyard industry. After graduating Cal Poly in 2007, Walter took a 6-month sabbatical as a Bellhop in La Jolla, California. The surfing was good but he soon realized his true potential and calling were in the vineyards of the Central Coast.
Walter decided to leave the beach life and arrived back in San Luis Obispo, where he found a position as Assistant Viticulturist with J.Lohr Vineyards and Wines in Paso Robles. With the experience he gained at J.Lohr, Walter was able to make a change and next took the position of Vineyard Manager with Coastal Range Vineyard Management in his hometown of Capitola.
After spending a year and a half in Santa Cruz County Walter again found himself wanting to return to San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. He soon found himself working in Buellton with Atlas Vineyard Management as their Assistant Vineyard Manager. He gained valuable experience with Atlas, but when the opportunity came he was happy to join the Tierramar team.