top of page

Legacy of Bruno Benziger

Updated: Apr 14, 2021

One of the co-founders of the Wine Country Marines was the late Bruno Benziger, the patriarch of the Benziger Family Winery in Glen Ellen who was a proud Marine and a World War II combat veteran of the battles of Guam and Iwo Jima. This page is a loving tribute to his memory.

J. Bruno Benziger, co-founder of the Glen Ellen Winery in California and co-founder of the Wine Country Marines was a legend in his own right. Any Marine that survived such epic battles of Guam and Iwo Jima have nothing to prove. But his and his families story transcends much more than the years the world was a war. He also was a successful entrepreneur during the decades after.

Bruno was a native of the Bronx where he worked as a principal in his family's import-export business, Park, Benziger & Company, based in White Plains, New York.

In 1973 his son Mike and his wife Mary head west and settled in Northern California. Mike had dreams of learning all about winemaking. A few years later, Bruno sold his interest in Park, Benziger and moved to Glen Ellen to join Michael in building their wine business.

Mike and Bruno purchased the historic Wegener Ranch on Sonoma Mountain in 1980 and were joined by siblings Robert, Joseph, Gerard, Christopher, Patsy and Katherine a few years later.

The winery produced varietal wines like chardonnay and cabernet and marketed it at modest prices and distribution grew rapidly. By 1983 Glen Ellen was shipping at a rate of 50,000 cases annually, and today they ship in the millions.

Bruno never forgot his service to the country during time of war as a US Marine, and his labels and charitable contributions often reflected it. Not only in his role as a founding Member of the Veterans Charity - Wine Country Marines, but also in his labels, donations of wine and tribute bottles to some our Nation's Heroes.

Today the ranch is managed by Chris Benziger - Brand Ambassador. Chris is a regular at the annual Wine Country Marines Birthday Ball, which not only pays honor and tribute to the United States Marine Corps, but also serves as a major fundraiser to support our wounded, injured and ill service members as well as other at risk veterans. Benziger Family Winery is a major contributor to Wine Country Marines and has traditionally donated the wine served at the annual Birthday Ball.

Here are some of Bruno's historic wine lables.


358 views0 comments


  • Support us when you shop
  • LinkedIn
  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
bottom of page