Bonny Doon Vineyard labels will disclose all wine ingredients beginning with the 2007 vintage white and 2006 vintage red wines.
As of 2008, consumers will note that all ingredients are listed in two sections on the back label of each bottle of Bonny Doon wine. The first section highlights the wine’s basic ingredients, i.e. grapes and sulfur dioxide (a preservative). The second section will point out ingredients used in the production of the wine such as bentonite (a type of clay used to clarify wine prior to bottling), that essentially no longer remain in the wine.
The first Bonny Doon Vineyard wines featuring the new ingredient labeling are the Demeter-certified Biodynamic 2007 Ca’ del Solo Albarino and 2007 Ca’ del Solo Muscat, slated for release this month.
“We feel it useful to provide the consumer with more detailed information about the ingredients used in wine production and aim to reduce our own dependence on standard wine additions, even those considered to be utterly benign – viz. tartaric acid, bentonite, yeast nutrients, enzymes, sulfur dioxide, and so on,” said Randall Grahm, owner and winemaker of Bonny Doon Vineyard.
“Lest it appear that we are revoltingly self-righteous,” added Grahm, “one should bear in mind that we are ourselves still somewhat reliant on certain wine additions that, in a perfect world, we would minimize or not use at all. But, whatever has been added in production or to the finished wine, even in the minutest fraction, will appear on our labels.”
With the substantial downsizing of the company in 2006 and the commitment to biodynamic practice in their own vineyard and encouragement of the same with their contract growers, Bonny Doon has been working toward producing wines of greater originality that are simpler and less technically manipulated.
According to Grahm, “This labeling initiative is primarily intended as an internal discipline. However, we do hope other winemakers will be encouraged to adopt less interventionist practices and rely less upon an alphabet soup of additives to ‘improve’ their wines. The key is to really begin with grapes farmed thoughtfully on appropriate sites, and all good comes from that.”