Napa Valley AVA
Premium fruit is so necessary when crafting these high-end wines from Benessere Vineyards
Benessere Vineyards is a small, family-owned boutique winery specializing in Italian varietals made in the heart of Napa Valley, in the acclaimed St. Helena appellation. Benessere, an Italian word meaning 'well being' or 'living the good life,' reflects the Benish family's dedication to producing Italian varietals and their penchant for providing warm, welcoming hospitality at their historic wine country estate.
John and Ellen Benish purchased the St. Helena property in 1994 and immediately began restoring the site's existing winery and residence and replanting the vineyards. The following year, they produced their first vintage of Sangiovese and the dream was realized. Since that inaugural vintage, the Benish family has added other sought-after Italian varietals to their portfolio (Pinot Grigio, Moscato di Canelli, Sagrantino, and Aglianico), plus a Super-Tuscan style blend and a few non-Italian varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Zinfandel.
The Benessere Vineyards property is steeped in history and originally served as a cattle ranch, and then as a dairy farm in the 1920's and 1930's before being converted to a thoroughbred horse ranch in the 1960's - complete with a racetrack at the front of the property. In the 1970's, the property changed owners and a majority of the land was converted to vineyards (one can still see the stall doors from when the original barn was converted into a wine cellar). Looking back even farther, the local Native American tribe used obsidian found on the property to make arrowheads and tools, and on occasion, the Benishes still find fragments of obsidian, reminding them of days past. In fact, they aptly named their vineyard, 'Black Glass Vineyard.'
The winemaker for Benessere Vineyards is Matt Reid, whose education at UC Davis and experience working for a number of Napa Valley wineries makes him an excellent addition to the Benessere family. Matt has been the winemaker at Seavey Vineyard and Quixote Winery, the custom crush winemaker at Failla Wines, and the consulting winemaker for Burgess Cellars. He also operates his own brand, PWR Wines, with his wife Marcy Webb, who is currently the assistant winemaker for Ballentine Vineyards. Matt is delighted to make wines for Benessere, where he can work with varietals that are uncommon in Napa Valley. Plus, he has access to premium fruit, which is so necessary when crafting high-end wines.
We hope our Gold Plus Wine of the Month Club members enjoy this selection from Benessere Vineyards. Cheers!