The internationally active Swiss company Hess Family Estates AG (formerly Hess Group AG), headquartered in Köniz (Canton of Berne), is active in the production and distribution of wine, in gastronomy and in real estate. Its origins date back to 1844, when the Steinhölzli brewery was founded in Kirchberg by Johann Heinrich Hess. From 1957, the company was taken over in the fourth generation by Donald M. Hess (*1936), who opened up the Valser St. Petersquelle in 1960 and introduced the Valser mineral water brand. The brewery was sold in 1968 and in 1978 an international wine business was established as a new second pillar alongside mineral water. Since the sale of Valser Mineralquellen in 2002, Hess Family Estates AG has concentrated on the wine, gastronomy and property sectors and now owns eight wineries on four continents as well as numerous restaurants. The property portfolio includes or has included Colomé (Salta, Argentina), acquired in 2001, as well as Glen Carlou (Paarl, South Africa), Peter Lehmann (Barossa Valley, Australia) and The Hess Collection Winery (Napa Valley, California).