Mar 21, 2019
Ben Benson retires after 37 years at Groth Vineyard & Winery

After 37 years of farming at Groth Vineyard and Winery in Oakville, California, Ben Benson has announced his retirement. Founders Dennis and Judy Groth hired Benson in 1982 as the winery’s first employee. For 37 years, Benson has looked after 165 planted acres at Groth’s Estate in Oakville and in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Benson first arrived in Napa Valley in 1976. Originally from an accounting background, like owner Dennis Groth, Benson had already been farming in Napa since 1977. Benson was a part-owner of the 45-acre Hillview vineyard, which Groth acquired in 1982.

“It’s probably one of the reasons he and I worked so well together, we are just a couple of retired accountants who loved the wine business more,” said Dennis Groth.

Groth Vineyards & Winery was simply vineyards in 1982 when Benson was hired: it would take another eight years before the Groth family moved into their iconic mission-style building. That was never an issue for Benson, he’s always been happiest on the tractor or in the vineyards taking care of the vines.

Ben Benson in the barrel room.

Once retired, Benson is looking forward to spending more time with his family at their Lake Tahoe cabin and skiing. But, Ben admits, as a home winemaker he will most likely be found in the vineyards from time to time.

Dennis and Judy Groth founded Groth Vineyards & Winery in 1981 in the Oakville appellation of Napa Valley. Groth Vineyards & Winery remains family-owned and -operated by second-generation President Suzanne Groth.

The winery produces distinctive Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay from their 165 acres of sustainably-farmed vineyards in Oakville and the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley. The distinctive California Mission-style winery, located at 750 Oakville Cross Road in Oakville, is open Monday thru Saturday for tours and tastings by appointment. Learn more at


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