The Michel Schlumberger estate was founded in 1979 and named Domaine Michel by Jean-Jacques Michel. A native of Switzerland, Michel formed a special attachment to Sonoma County. After a two-year search, he planted his roots in Dry Creek Valley because of its cooler microclimates and its abundance of well-defined benchlands.
From 1979 to 1993, Jean-Jacques Michel served as Chairman of Domaine Michel. In 1991 Jacques Schlumberger joined Michel and Bullock as a minority partner and in 1993 he took the reins as majority partner and president. He put together a new marketing team, redesigned the label, and cleared the decks for the emerging Benchland Wine Estate of Michel-Schlumberger.
In 1997 Jacques Schlumberger and his wife Barbara purchased a slope on top of Bradford Mountain adjacent to the proven Hambrecht vineyard (for years a source of grapes for both the Ridge and Arrowood wineries). Michel-Schlumberger broke ground on that slope in 1998.