Mark Burningham

Mark began his career in wine business simultaneously at Mesa Wine Sales as an undergrad at SDSU in Business Administration. Working in the warehouse and moving his way up to managing operations and logistics. Going on a trip with the sales team to Sonoma in 1982 he met the Benzinger Family and decided to pursue a career in wine production.

He moved to Sonoma in 1984 and started managing Santa Rosa wine warehouse and Eagle Transportation. His first sales call was to the Benzingers adding them to his client list. In 1985 Bruno and Mike Benzinger called him to join their team to make a Glen Ellen Proprietor Reserve. An initial 1000 square foot warehouse soon turned into 12,000 square feet and by 1987 the Glen Ellen brand had outgrown the facility.

Mark then opened a warehouse and bottling facility for the Benzingers in Carneros. As plant manager for Glen Ellen Carneros Mark oversaw enormous growth as the brands grew to 4 million cases. After the sale of Glen Ellen Carneros, Mark stayed with the Benzingers and became an owner and VP of Operations for the Benzinger and Imagery Wine at the Benzinger Biodynamic Estate Winery beginning in 1993. From there Mark then created relationships with other grape growing families who supplied grapes for the Benzinger and Imagery portfolios. Many of the Benzinger wines and Imagery wines were bottled at Napa Wine Company in the 1990s and Yount Mill Vineyards supplied the grapes for the white burgundy wine made at Imagery to this day. The relationship expanded with Mark and Kendall Hoxsey-Onysko serving on the CAWG board together from 2014-2015.

After the Wine Group purchased the Benzinger portfolio Mark took a little time off to travel and focus on his family. During his temporary retirement Mark knew he wanted to work again but only for families he respected i.e. the Hoxseys or Sangiacomos. Well, the call came from Kendall in late 2021 inquiring if he’d be interested in the GM position at Napa Wine Company, and he is thrilled to bring his experience and passion to this incredible Napa Valley family!