The Estate

Tucked at the base of the Stags Leap Palisades, Bench Vineyards was inspired by our unique geography. Surrounded by a ring of hills and mountains, our unique orography in the Stags Leap District defines our wines and our famed appellation. Orographic influences are climatic influences, it is where the ground meets the air. Taking in my experiences growing up in the vineyards of Stag Leap, working the crush pad and learning alongside my father, today we craft wines to share that story.

“I've been working with Allison and the Steltzner vineyard since 2016, The combination of the family history with the vineyard Terroir and Vine age is for me everything I am excited about when I make wine. ” MAAYAN KOSCHIZKY, WINEMAKER

The People

Bench Vineyards is decades in the making, combining some of the most distinctive vineyards in Stags Leap with the most distinguished and dynamic individuals in the Napa Valley. Viticulturist Jim Barbour, winemaker Maayan Koschitzky, alongside founders Allison Steltzner and Sam Sharp. We walk these legendary vineyards with one goal, to hand craft vibrant terroir driven wines.

“The Heron is recognized in cultures throughout the ages as a symbol of strength, purity, patience, and long life. We craft wines in the same spirit.” ALLISON STELTZNER & SAM SHARP, FOUNDERS
Allison Steltzner & Sam Sharp, Founders
Allison was born and raised in the vineyards of Stags Leap, deeply connected to the people, land and lifecycle here in the Napa Valley. Sam was born and raised in New York City, surrounded by artists, musicians, and a culture of wine cultivated from his family's time spent in Europe and in the museum culture of New York. The girl from wine country and the boy from the big city met in Napa, married and started a family, while pursuing careers in the wine industry. In the back of their minds always lingered the thought to one day make a little wine from the historic Steltzner Vineyards property owned by Allison's family. Bench Vineyards is a love letter to Stags Leap, and to the Napa Valley, and the energy that wine brings to everyday life. We continue to write this love letter every season by hand crafting wines that honor the vineyard and appellations history yet strive to define its future.
Jim Barbour, Viticulturalist
Jim has been a part of the fabric of Napa Valley since a young age, raised on a ranch here in the valley. He has been integral in shaping the transition here in Napa from growing apples, walnuts and raising cattle to the vineyards you see today. He continues to make his mark, collaborating with top winemakers to select, develop and farm Napa Valley's most coveted vineyard sites.
Maayan Koschitzky, Winemaker
Maayan was born and raised in Israel on his family farm. After serving in the IDF, he studied Mechanical engineering which led him into the wine world. He got his start working at some of the leading wineries in Israel, including Margalit Winery working under the guidance of Dr Margalit. In 2011 he moved to Napa Valley and since then he has worked with some of the most coveted vineyards and wineries in the valley. Since 2014, Maayan has been Director of Winemaking and a Partner in Atelier Melka. in 2021 Maayan Joined the Steltzner family to work alongside Allison on all aspects Winemaking and vineyards. Maayan lives in Napa with his wife, Dana, and their three beautiful children.