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 VinesseTODAY.com: Two more “green” stories about wine.