Vladimir is the Production Winemaker at our Old Mission Peninsula winery and manages the daily operations of this white wine facility and brandy distillery. Vladimir is a native of Moldova, and it is there that he earned his degree in Oenology in 1999. After graduation, he quickly began working intimately with cool climate grape varietals. When he decided to expand his winemaking knowledge and take his skills abroad, he realized that Northern Michigan was the perfect fit due to its similar climate and thriving, yet relatively new wine industry. In 2007, Vladimir found his home at Black Star Farms, and he is credited with leading his team in the production of many award-winning white wines.
Kerm and Sallie Campbell
Kerm and Sallie Campbell are the original, and now sole proprietors, of Black Star Farms. While raising a family in Western Europe, Kerm and Sallie were introduced to fine wines from some of the most prestigious wineries of the area. This began a lifelong, increasing passion for the industry. After retiring from corporate management, the Campbells relocated to Northern Michigan, where Kerm started several new ventures in the Traverse City area and beyond, including planting vineyards beginning in the early ’90s. Today, the Campbells have extensive farming operations on both the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas, with over 120 producing acres of vineyards. More than half of the grapes used to make Black Star Farm wines, and some of our most highly-awarded, come from his fruit. In addition to a passion for growing grapes and producing fine wines, Kerm and Sallie enjoy classical music, the arts, and their grand and great-grandchildren. Sallie passed away on October 1, 2017, following a 40 year battle with Multiple Sclerosis.
Jill is the Manager for the Suttons Bay tasting room and is also our Wine Club administrator. She oversees the club’s many different components and is the primary contact for our 3,000 (and counting!) members. Jill has proudly called Northern Michigan home for over 20 years and joined the Black Star Farms team in 2005. She is a wine enthusiast who shares her passion and knowledge with the thousands of guests she connects with each year.
Dorothy manages our highly acclaimed special and corporate events department. In 2014, she and her family relocated to Traverse City from Asheville, N.C., where she was responsible for corporate and wedding coordination at The Biltmore Estate. During her eight years at The Biltmore, she coordinated multiple departments involving all aspects of events. Educated at Appalachian State University, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Public Relations. Dorothy will quickly win you over with her professionalism, passion, warmth, and attention to detail when you host your wedding, corporate retreat, or special event at Black Star Farms. 2019 Michigan Meetings + Events Magazine’s Hall of Fame Best Special Event Planner
After climbing the corporate ladder in healthcare, Samantha decided to follow her heart and pursue a career in what she was passionate about. With 15+ years’ experience in guest services, she went back to school for Hospitality Management and Tourism. She moved to Traverse City from Dayton, OH, to join our Black Star Farms family as Inn Manager. Her family has been vacationing in Michigan since she was a child, what better place to replant her roots than her home away from home? With an energetic, outgoing, and bubbly personality, she instills unforgettable and lasting impressions to clients and guests.
Sherri Campbell Fenton
Sherri is the managing owner, overseeing hospitality, the Inn, culinary services, events, and property management. Having joined the family business in 2016, she brings a wealth of business development, sales, marketing, and PR experience to the team from various industries. Having worked in the local non-profit sector for nine years, it brought her close to the heart of our community, and she is excited to continue developing Black Star Farms as an increasing economic driver in the region. Sherri is active in the region’s hospitality and tourism efforts, and sits on the Board of Directors for Traverse Wine Coast and Traverse City Tourism.
Barbara is our Winery Administrator and is the direct contact for all wholesale and distribution inquiries. She joined Black Star Farms in the winter of 2015 after 25 years in the wholesale wine industry, where she represented hundreds of wineries from all over the world. Barbara called on restaurants and fine wine shops first in the Detroit market, and then in Northern Michigan for 17 years. She feels extremely fortunate to have been able to bring her knowledge of the business to her current role. Barbara lives in Leelanau County with her winemaking husband and has two children.
Chris is the Retail Manager for Black Star Farms and oversees both the Suttons Bay and Old Mission tasting rooms. He has been in the Northern Michigan wine industry since 2000 and joined Black Star Farms in 2003. He is a well recognized and important presence at Black Star Farms. In addition to his many duties involving the tasting rooms, Chris has been involved with the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail (formally the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association), where he has had a seat on the Board or Directors, including the position of president, for many years.
Lee was hired as winemaker in 1998 and was an integral part of the development and construction of the Winery at Black Star Farms. Currently, he oversees the winemaking operations for our two processing facilities on the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas. These facilities were developed separately and in 2007 expanded to specialize in separate red and white wine production. He is also the director of our distillation program that produces European style fruit brandies and dessert wines. Lee is a proud, self-taught winemaker with 25 years of experience making wine and time spent studying in various regions worldwide. He served as an assistant winemaker at Abbazia di Valle Chiara in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy before moving back to his native Northern Michigan in 1993. Lee is a proud supporter of all things Michigan and is most passionate about our Rieslings and Pinot Noirs.
A native to Southern Michigan, Chef Wojnarski obtained his culinary degree at Great Lakes Culinary Institute here in Northern Michigan. Born into a family of Polish and German descendants, he quickly learned that love and passion could be expressed through food. Upon graduation from the local G.L.C. I., Chef Wojnarski joined the culinary team as Sous Chef at Heritage in Richmond, Virginia. Chef has continued to hone his craft through the years, challenging himself in butchery, charcuterie, baking, and vegan/vegetarian forward fine dining. Before joining Black Star Farms in 2017, Chef had relocated to the Grand Traverse area as part of the Boathouse Restaurant team. A driving force for Chef is to be constantly expanding his knowledge while nurturing his love and passion for food.
Kimberly coordinates the Winery Promotions for Black Star Farms. She manages the off-site winery events, social media, and serves as the winery ambassador for restaurants and retail stores around the state. She joined Black Star Farms in 2007 as a member of the Suttons Bay tasting room staff and spent this time getting to know our guests, our products, and the incredible team that makes up Black Star Farms. This experience has proven invaluable in her current role. Kimberly is a Traverse City native and a dedicated promoter for all things Northern Michigan.