Courtney Benham was raised in California's Great San Joaquin Valley. As a third generation native, at an early age he developed a deep respect for the land: its promise, and its care. He worked summers in his father's vineyards and almond orchards, tilling, irrigating, tending, and harvesting. It was during these long summer days that he began to dream of building his own wine business.
After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley in the early 1980s, Courtney worked for his father's winery, in the heart of the Sacramento Delta. For eight years he worked in all departments of the winery, from sales and distribution to management and production. In 1990, after discovering 1,500 cases of Martin Ray library wines in an old warehouse in San Jose, Courtney decided to contact the Ray family and was able to purchase the Martin Ray label. Courtney has spent the last 20 years dedicating his time and skills to producing wines whose quality would make Martin Ray himself proud.