A new trend in the winemaking industry is going “green”. To date, there are 380+ biodynamic wine producers worldwide who are eliminating pesticides, synthetic sprays and chemical additives from their winemaking process. This trend, otherwise known as sustainable or biodynamic growing, produces purer grapes and eliminates the toxins; it’s a cleaner way to produce a better product. This method has obvious advantages; reducing the aftermath of hangovers and headaches seems obvious since eliminating as many toxins from wine would be healthier to consume; and it’s obviously better for the environment. But what about taste? I began to think about all of the biodynamic and/or organic wines I’ve tasted over the years and I had a hard time recalling… one wine that was memorable, exceptional or exciting. It’s been a few years, so I think it’s about time I get around to trying a few. Since there are approximately 60 U.S producers who are either certified biodynamic or practicing sustainable agriculture, I don’t think I’ll have a hard time finding one.

A few examples include Benziger’s fully biodynamic certifiable Bordeaux blend, the “Tribute”. Benziger, which has supported biodynamic farming practices for over a decade, received certification in 2001 for their 85 acre Sonoma Mountain estate for which 45 acres are planted in grapes and 40 acres are gardens, insectories, olive groves, wetlands, ponds, riparian areas and forest border areas.

Benziger's Biodynamic Pyramid

They pride themselves on the aforementioned process and built a concept of their Biodynamic principles with an illustrative pyramid.

Then we have Randall Grahm, the founder and owner of Bonny Doon, which hopes to transition Bonny Doon into a 100% biodynamic estate. Currently their Ca’ del Solo Estate is Biodynamically Certified and two wine releases under the Ca’ del Solo aegis are currently in the marketplace: 2006 Monterey County Albarino and 2006 Monterey County Muscat, produced from 100% Moscato-Giallo. According to Grahm, “Each of these dry aromatic white wines offers a unique flavor profile embodying our efforts to grow fine wine reflective of the soul of its site of origin. They were made in an utterly hands-off manner with indigenous yeast, sans maquillage. ” Something else worth mentioning is that Grahm comments on the fact that “…screwcaps [closures] make a tighter seal, so they can use fewer preservatives”. Interesting comment; sounds like another reason why winemakers and consumers might want to support the screwcap closure!

So before we discredit biodynamic wines, go out and try a few. I’ve included a list of U.S. producers who are either certified biodynamic or practicing sustainable agriculture (credit given to Fork & Bottle) so that you can find your favorite producer and seek out a wine worth trying. I’ve also included a few eductional videos at the bottom of this post.

Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino
Black Sears
B Vineyards & Habitat
Ceàgo Vinegarden
Coturri Winery
Paul Dolan Vineyards
Ehlers Estate
Frog’s Leap
Golden Vineyards
Grgich Hills
Jeriko Estates & Vineyards
Lutea Wine Cellars
Martella Wines
Mendocino Farms
Opus One
Joseph Phelps
JPV Freestone
Porter Creek
Robert Sinskey
Sky Saddle
Central Coast
Ambyth Estate
Beckman Vineyards
Bonny Doon Ca’ del Solo vineyard
PresidioSierra Foothills
Clos Saron

New York
Shinn Estate Vineyards
Silver Thread
Herman J. Weimer

Antica Terra
Beaux Freres
Brick House
Cooper Mountain Vineyards
Evesham Wood
Lemelson Vineyards
Maysara Winery
Montinore Estate
Sokol Blosser

Cayuse Vineyards

On the Road With Oregon Bounty
– Day 3: Willamette Valley:
Biodynamic Wines:

TreehuggerTV: Organic and Biodynamic Wines:

~ Pamela Heiligenthal