Vice President of Trade Relations
Benziger Family Winery
As a senior in high school, Chris moved from White Plains, New York to California along with his parents and younger sister to support his oldest brother in building Benziger Family Winery. Although he begrudgingly left New York, California quickly won him over.
Chris was instantly immersed in the life of a California winegrower. He learned about wine from the ground up working with his family after school and during summer vacations. After graduating from Justin-Siena High School, Chris attended the University of San Francisco, where he earned a degree in marketing. From 1986 to 1988, he worked at the international accounting firm of Arthur Andersen & Company as a management consultant, assisting businesses such as Intel and Pacific Telesis with strategic planning.
In 1988, Chris joined the Benziger Family Winery as Marketing Manager and then went on to lead sales on the East Coast for three years. In 1997, Chris returned to California, joined his brothers as a General Partner and began managing national sales for the winery. When Benziger Family Winery was acquired by The Wine Group in June 2015, Chris Benziger stayed on board to continue the family legacy and vision for the winery. Today, Chris Benziger travels the country sharing the Benziger Sonoma County portfolio of wines with fine wine shops and restaurants. He has also taken on mentoring the next generation of nieces and nephews stepping into the family business.
Along with the business side of the winery, Chris has the unique experience of having participated in all aspects of the winery. He has not only worked multiple grape harvests, but also the olive harvest for the Estate olive oil. Chris has made his own wine. He was the ranch manager, keeping watch over all the animals on the property, which includes sheep and Scottish Highlander Cattle. He has cared for the biodynamic gardens and was instrumental in Benziger’s receipt of Sonoma County and Bay Area Green Business Awards. This varied background gives Chris a ground farm perspective as he shares about Benziger Family Winery.
An avid adventurer, Chris is a volunteer firefighter for the Glen Ellen Fire Department and can often be found walking through the Benziger vineyard with his family. He lives in Glen Ellen with his wife, Dawn, their two boys, Barrett and Charlie and dog Blue.