Demeter USA, the only certification agent for Biodynamic® farms in the United States, has certified the 17-acre estate vineyard and garden at DeLoach Vineyards fully compliant with their standards for Demeter Biodynamic® status. As one of only 64 wineries or vineyards in the world with Demeter certified Biodynamic® estate vineyards, DeLoach is among an elite group of sustainable winegrape growers committed to farming in parallel with the Earth’s natural cycles and from within the context of the principles of a unique living organism.
After the Boisset family purchased DeLoach Vineyards in 2003, one of their first initiatives was to give new life to the 17-acre estate vineyard surrounding the winery. “My sister and I were taught by our grandparents at a very young age to be stewards of the land in Burgundy where we were fortunate to be raised. In honor of our parents and grandparents, in 1994 we converted the family’s premier cru and grand cru vineyards at Domaine de la Vougeraie to organic and biodynamic farming. While rare in Burgundy, we considered it essential to restoring the health of our land, enhancing the quality of our wines, and ensuring a vital ecology on our estates for many more centuries to come,” explains Jean-Charles Boisset, President of Boisset Family Estates.
“When I first visited Sonoma County, I was inspired by the incredible potential of Russian River Valley terroir to grow great Pinot Noir. But I knew that in order to make wine that fully expressed the great Russian River Valley terroir, we would first need to restore the health of the land,” explains Jean-Charles Boisset, President of Boisset Family Estates. “Deciding to let the estate vineyards go fallow just after purchasing the winery was my family’s way of showing that we want to grow and produce wine worthy of this extraordinary region not only today, but for many generations to come.”
The process of converting a farm from conventional to Biodynamic® agriculture requires a three-year transition process to become organically certified, followed by an additional year of biodynamic-specific practices. All work is done according to the Biodynamic® calendar, which is based on celestial and terrestrial movements. Biodynamic farming has minimal dependence on external inputs; its holistic approach instead relies upon creating natural biodiversity within the farm through cover crops and annual preparations such as the iconic #500 Horn Manure. As a result, biodynamic farming leaves one of the smallest carbon footprints of any agricultural method. Biodynamic farming was established by Rudolf Steiner through his series of lectures titled “Agriculture” in 1924.
The vineyard and gardens at DeLoach Vineyards have been farmed in line with biodynamic principles for the past several years; certification was delayed to coincide with the inaugural winegrape crop in 2010. “We view certification not as the destination of our voyage, but as an affirmation along this voyage that we are moving in the right direction. With eagerness we anticipate the coming growing season and our first vintage of estate wines from certified organic and certified biodynamic vineyards,” said Eric Pooler, DeLoach Winegrower.
Today, the estate at DeLoach is a rich ecosystem in which eight clones of Pinot Noir and two clones of Chardonnay are able to express the unique combination of soil, climate, air, water, nutrients and human attention that turn the concept of terroir into a tangible reality. Sheep graze and trim the vegetation beneath the vines; bees pollinate the half-acre CCOF and Demeter-certified garden and the cover crops planted between rows of vines. Fruits and vegetables from the garden are served to winery guests and donated to local food banks including Food for Thought and Redwood Empire Food Bank; herbs from the garden are used as the basis for certain Biodynamic® preparations.
DeLoach’s commitment to environmentally-friendly practices extends to the winery: an innovative membrane bio-reactor purifies all water from the winemaking process for reuse in the vineyards and 100% of its energy is purchased from renewable sources, eliminating 314 metric tons of CO2 – the equivalent of 57 passenger vehicles for 1 year.
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Taste of Terroir
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Explore the finest terroirs of Burgundy with an exclusive guided tasting while you discover the origins of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.