Sonoma Mountain Wine History
The History of Sonoma Mountain Wine Production
Jack London built an ill-fated home in the region during the early 20th century. A few days before he was planning to move in, a suspicious fire destroyed the structure. London was a socialist and many have speculated that disgruntled believers in the ideology targeted the economically successful author as a traitor to their cause.
Mike Benziger began growing grapes on the mountain in 1981. He established the hugely popular Glen Ellen Winery and was largely responsible for the “fighting varietal” movement. To supplement his own vineyards, Benziger bought surplus grapes from other high-quality growers. The significantly lower grape prices of two decades ago allowed him to produce some great wines at affordable prices.
The growth of Glen Ellen Winery during the 1980s and early 1990s was a phenomenal success story. In 1993, the Benzigers sold the label to Hublein. Since then, they have been making limited quantity wines under the Benziger Family Winery label. Sonoma Mountain was granted AVA status in 1985.