SANTA ROSA, Calif. (March 3, 2022) – Joe Anderson, Chairman of Benovia Winery, is pleased to announce that Michael Sommer, a winery executive with extensive experience in sales, management and hospitality, joined the winery as its new General Manager on March 1st.
“We are thrilled to welcome Michael Sommer to the Benovia team,” said Anderson. “He’s an inspiring leader and a tremendous asset to our tight-knit team. He has a deep background in sales from well-regarded large organizations, but also understands the needs of smaller, family-owned wineries. We are very excited to call him a Benovian, and grateful to The Cypress Group for connecting us.”
Sommer has an impressive 22-year career in the food and beverage industry. Most recently, he was the General Manager of Trois Noix Wines, Jaime Araujo’s winery in St. Helena, giving him a strong sense of how boutique, family-owned wineries like Benovia work. Prior to that, Sommer held key regional sales positions at Vintage Wine Estates, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, and Treasury Wine Estates, where he successfully improved sales across multiple brands year after year. His food and beverage career began at McCormick & Schmick’s in Chicago where he was responsible for 120 employees, and purchased wine for six of the brand’s restaurants.
“I couldn’t be happier to join Benovia Winery,” said Sommer. “I feel like this new role as General Manager is the culmination of everything I’ve been building throughout my career. The team at Benovia is fantastic and they’ve earned a reputation as a highly respected, top-notch winery. It’s an honor to join them.”
Benovia Winery produces fewer than 10,000 cases of critically-acclaimed wines, crafting some of the most elusive wines from the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast and prized acquisitions for collectors of balanced, expressive Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These wines are the product of exhaustive site exploration and vineyard acquisition, as well as extensive planting and replanting with distinctive heirloom clones. The team deploys artisanal practices, such as meticulously hand sorting the fruit during harvest. Benovia’s Winemaker & Co-Owner Mike Sullivan blends old world care and new world technology in his innovative winemaking techniques.
“Michael Sommer brings a powerful combination of experience in hospitality, sales and management,” said Sullivan. “In particular, his roots in the restaurant business are especially helpful in our tasting room and at our special events. His collaborative spirit and leadership are wonderful for our team.”
About Benovia Winery
Benovia Winery is a special, small production, family-owned winery in the heart of the Russian River Valley that specializes in sustainably farmed, single-vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Founded by husband and wife team Mary Dewane and Joe Anderson in 2002, Benovia was named after Mary and Joe’s fathers, Ben Dewane and Novian Anderson. Benovia owns and farms three distinctly different vineyards – two of them sustainably, and one is certified organic – so as to present several nuanced wines in its portfolio. The wines are allocated directly to customers and distributed to select shops and restaurants across the country. Benovia Winery is located at 3339 Hartman Lane in Santa Rosa, CA – and can be found on social media @benoviawinery.