The internationally active Swiss company Hess Family Estates AG (formerly Hess Group AG), based in Köniz (Canton of Bern), is active in the production and distribution of wine, gastronomy and real estate. The origin is in 1844, when the Steinhölzli brewery was founded in Kirchberg by Johann Heinrich Hess. The company was taken over by the fourth generation in 1957 from Donald M. Hess (* 1936), who opened the Valser St. Petersquelle in 1960 and introduced the mineral water brand Valser. The brewery was sold in 1968 and an international wine business was set up in 1978 as a new second mainstay, alongside mineral water. Since the sale of the Vals mineral springs in 2002, Hess Family Estates AG has concentrated on the areas of wine, gastronomy and real estate and now has eight wineries on four continents and numerous restaurants. The possessions include or included the one acquired in 2001 Colomé (Salta, Argentina) as well Glen Carlou (Paarl, South Africa), Peter Lehmann (Barossa Valley, Australia) and The Hess Collection Winery (Napa Valley, California).