"Ours is a family winery in the truest sense, it is operated by Benzigers. My family loves sharing our Estate ranch and providing guests with an agrarian experience that you will not get anywhere else. We farm for flavors and craft wine with a distinct sense of place. Our roots run deep and this authenticity resonates with our customers." - Chris Benziger
A conversation with Chris Benziger is a poignant reminder that every bottle of wine tells a story. The wines of Benziger Family Winery beautifully express a family's commitment to their land, winemaking, and each other. For more than 30 years, the Benziger family has farmed their ranch on Sonoma Mountain to craft quality wines that authentically express the terroir. All Benziger wines are certified organic, sustainable, or biodynamic.
image courtesy of Benziger
Chris is the vice president of trade relations for Benziger Family Winery but he isn't afraid to get his hands dirty - he also oversees important farm duties like shepherding the sheep and cows, and tending the estate's fruit and vegetable trees. He believes that "the only way to communicate the quality of the wines he promotes is by having the soil from the vineyard in which he’s endorsing under his nails."
I recently had the pleasure of sharing several Benziger wines with Chris when he was in New York City for their cool "Benziger in the City" pop-up tasting room. The festive pop-up brought a bit of Sonoma to the Big Apple and featured Benziger wines, Sonoma inspired cuisine, and even extra virgin olive oil from their estate. Benziger has an impressive portfolio and I recommend these three delicious wines as an introduction to their style.
Paradiso de Maria Sauvignon Blanc 2015 ($36)
A refreshing wine that beautifully balances fresh & juicy fruit flavors with crisp minerality, this elegant sip is a tribute to Mary Benziger. She discovered this property in 1979 alongside her daughter Erinn and husband Mike, and selected the site to produce her dream wine. "Bursting with aromas of citrus and honeysuckle with a fresh entry that gives the palate a pleasing pop of green plum and apple." Demeter Certified Biodynamic
Signaterra Sunny Slope Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($59)
A big, graceful, and velvety wine that is perfect for cool winter nights. "Abundant in blackberry, boysenberry, toasted oak, and plum jam flavors, with mocha, coffee, and dark chocolate aromas."
Tribute Estate Blend 2013 ($85)
A Bordeaux style blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, Tribute is made entirely from estate-grown grapes. Tribute was the first Demeter-certified Biodynamic® wine from Sonoma County and one of the first from North America. A rich and regal wine with gorgeous flavors of dark fruit, coffee, vanilla and herbs.
These three wines are just a snapshot of the Benziger portfolio, visit their website to browse an array of wines at various price points. If you're planning a trip to Sonoma, Benziger welcomes guests for tours and tastings.