Mike Benziger founded the winery in 1980, when he purchased an 85-acre estate on a slope of Sonoma Mountain above the tiny village of Glen Ellen.
Mike Benziger grew up in White Plains, New York, where he was exposed to wine, in a manner of speaking, through the Solano Winery, an altar and medicinal wine production facility his father and uncle owned. After graduating from Holy Cross, he worked for a time at Beltramo's, the respected San Francisco retailer, where he met a number of winemakers and became intrigued by the idea of making wine.
By 1978 he found himself working at Stony Ridge Winery. Shortly afterward, he and his wife, Mary, found the property that would become the family winery. In 2010, Mike was awarded the “Going Green Award” from the Natural Resources Defense Council for water stewardship on the Benziger estate in Sonoma Mountain.