Glen Ellen, Calif., June 8, 2015 – The Wine Group and Benziger Family Winery announced today that The Wine Group has purchased the critically acclaimed Sonoma Mountain Benziger Family Winery and the Imagery Winery in Sonoma Valley.
“We are honored to bring the Benziger Family Winery and its team into The Wine Group. We look forward to continuing to build on Benziger’s reputation as a producer of some of Sonoma County’s best wines while providing visitors with an unrivaled experience at the beautiful and unique Sonoma properties,” said Brian Vos, CEO of The Wine Group. “As we continue to move into the Super- Premium category, we have been thoughtful in our search for a winery that produces exceptional wines while sharing our values of integrity, social responsibility, and innovation. The Benziger family is not only celebrated for its outstanding wine quality, but their strong team will be a great cultural fit within The Wine Group.”
Founded by the Benziger family in 1981, Benziger Family Winery is located on a biodynamically certified 85-acre estate adjacent to Jack London State Park in the town of Glen Ellen. Benziger produces a wide range of Super- and Ultra-Premium wines sourced from Sonoma County, with many of the grapes grown in its six vineyards located in the Sonoma Valley, Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Mountain and Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak AVAs. The Wine Group will also acquire the Imagery Winery and tasting room on Highway 12 in Glen Ellen which is approximately two miles east of Benziger Family Winery. In addition to producing high-quality unique wines, Imagery Winery houses a world-class contemporary art collection.
“Thirty-five years ago my father and I purchased the Benziger site. I am proud of the work our family has done to grow the Benziger brand and create a destination for consumers that is founded on Biodynamics and green farming practices,” said Founder and CEO Mike Benziger. “With the knowledge that we’re selling the winery to a privately held company that shares our values, now is the perfect time for me to pursue other passions. We are certain that The Wine Group will carry on the Benziger family’s legacy of quality.”
In addition to winery staff joining The Wine Group, key executives will also join the company to help manage the winery and provide valuable continuity. Mark Burningham, who has worked with the family for almost 30 years, will take over as GM of North Coast Operations. Chris Benziger, brother to Mike Benziger, will assume the role of VP Trade Relations at Benziger Family Winery, and Joe Benziger, also brother to Mike Benziger, will maintain his position as Imagery Winemaker.
Demeter Group, a San Francisco-based investment bank for beverage alcohol companies, acted as Benziger Family Winery’s exclusive financial advisor on the transaction. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The sale closed on June 8.
About The Wine Group
Established in 1981, The Wine Group is the world’s third largest winery by volume. Based out of Livermore, CA in the historic Concannon Estate with additional wineries in California, Argentina and Australia. The Wine Group is management-owned and operated. Its portfolio of wines includes Cupcake, Chloe, Trapiche, Concannon Vineyards, Cocobon, Save Me San Francisco and Slow Press.