Devoted to wine and fine arts
Reading the curriculum of Donald Hess is a temptation to put you into his life. Born in 1936 in Bern, he was trained in Munich to become a brewer. Only 20 years old, he takes over the management of the family-owned brewery Steinhölzli in Bern after the early death of his father.
In 1961 he founds the Valser Mineralquellen AG and makes these mineral springs to the No. 1 in Switzerland. Looking for new mineral wells, Donald Hess discovers his love for wine in California's Napa Valley. In 1978 he sets up the Hess Collection Winery, named after the collection of modern art he also installs there in order to draw attention to his winery. Since then, the Swiss entrepreneur and patron stands for the most advantageous combination of both his passion for wine and modern art. Today, each of the three Donald Hess wineries contains a public art collection of international reputation. These include not only his own wineries in California but also the Colomé Estate in Argentina and Glen Carlou in South Africa. That equals three cellars on three continents, and in every case Donald Hess can proudly account them undoubtedly to the best in their respective home countries. No less than Robert Mondavi advised Donald Hess to establish his West Coast winery in the mountains above the Napa Valley. Far away from the valley’s hustle and bustle, under the auspices of winemaker Dave Guffy some of the most autonomous wines of the region mature in the cool nights on Mount Veeder. These wines, made from grapes grown on partly volcanic soils, have made the Hess Collection Winery to one of the highest rated wineries in the country.