Bonny Doon Goes Biodynamic

     California’s Bonny Doon Vineyard — which the wine clubs of Vinesse have featured on several occasions — has received Biodynamic

certification from the Demeter Association for its 125-acre estate Ca’ del Solo vineyard in the Monterey County community of Soledad.

      This strict three-year process eliminates all chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, fumigants and GMOs from the vineyard. Instead, traditional green vineyard practices such as composting, manuring, and the use of biodynamic preps, sprays and teas are employed to achieve a healthy level of soil and crop fertility in the growing environment.

      Randall Grahm, founder and “President-for-Life” of Bonny Doon

Vineyard, spoke to the importance of this step in Bonny Doon’s future:

“Biodynamic growing practices are not old wives’ tales or marketing

flim-flam. These practices respect and heal the vineyard and, by

extension, the earth. While it may not be the only way to grow great

wine, I do, in fact, believe that it is the royal road to terroir.”

      In 2003, Grahm set a goal to make wines reflective of their

specific place of origin: “We have seen quite astonishing improvements

in wine quality since we began this process. Demeter’s certification of

our Ca’ del Solo vineyard and its wines bring Bonny Doon closer to our

long-term goal of only producing 100% estate grown biodynamic wine.”

      Grahm credited much of the biodynamic improvements to Philippe

Coderey, Bonny Doon’s Director of Viticulture. “Philippe has been with

us for three years,” Grahm said. “Since his arrival, the quality of the

soil and health of the vines has improved dramatically.”

      Coderey, a native of Provence, has specialized in biodynamic

methodologies for more than 20 years. Previously, Coderey was a

vineyard manager and winemaker for M. Chapoutier in France’s Rhone


      In addition, Nicole Walsh, Vineyard Manager for Ca’ del Solo, was

acknowledged for her efforts in bringing the vineyard into greater

balance and the resultant higher quality fruit.

      “Nicole, working with the biodynamic preps and compost teas, has

improved the vineyard’s health and so its ability to respond

effectively to seasonal challenges,’ said Grahm.

      Walsh, a six-year veteran of Bonny Doon, is also the newly

appointed Associate Winemaker for the Ca’ del Solo wines as of this

harvest. These wines will carry the Demeter seal of Biodynamic

certification starting in late 2007.

     Tomorrow on Two more “green” stories about wine.

Posted in Wineries of Distinction
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