Friday, June 16, 2017

A New Crop of Biodynamic Vines: Ten U.S. Vineyards and Wineries On the Path to Demeter Certification

The movement toward Biodynamic agriculture in the wine industry continues to progress in the U.S. with ten wineries currently on the path to certification. The acreage totals 339* acres of newly certified Biodynamic vines.

This builds on the very large increases in 2016, with the addition of the mammoth southern Oregon winery, King Estate (465 acres of Biodynamic vines, the largest organic and Biodynamic vineyard in the country), and the prestigious Pinot Noir winery, Sea Smoke Estate Cellars (170 acres), in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA in Santa Barbara County.

Currently, two of the country's most prominent wineries - along with eight other wineries and growers - are on the path to Demeter Biodynamic certification.

Famed Pinot Noir producer Beaux Frères in Oregon and Rhone wine superstar Tablas Creek in Paso Robles are on target to certify all of their estate vines Biodynamic.

Beaux Frères has long been one of the super elite wineries in the Willamette Valley. Located in the Ribbon Ridge AVA in Newberg, the winery was founded in 1986 by Michael Etzel. Aside from his wine growing and winemaking expertise, he's also famous for having married the sister of wine critic Robert Parker, Jr., one of the part owners of the winery. Beaux Freres is close to another acclaimed Biodynamic winery in Ribbon Ridge - Brick House Vineyard - run by Doug Tunnell - that has long been Demeter certified.

Tablas Creek has been working with Biodynamic vineyard consultant Philippe Coderey for several years and using Biodynamic practices, but has not been certified.

It is owned by an American family, the Haas family, and a French family, the Perrins, who are rockstars in the Rhone region in France and it is well known for its fine Rhone wines from Paso Robles.

Tablas Creek recently planted new Rhone varietal vines in the Old World style, en gobelet, spaced far apart according to conventional U.S. standards, so that the vines would be able to survive drought conditions.

Becoming certified will enable these wineries to legally use the word Biodynamic in their marketing.

In addition, eight more wineries are in the Biodynamic certification pipeline.

Here's a breakout by region with notes on the primary varietals.


Beaux Frères - 25 acres in vine
Planted to: Pinot Noir

Paradigm Farming (acreage NA)


Boisset Collection  (12 [new] acres)
Planted to: Cabernet Sauvignon, other

Tesseron Estate - Pym-Rae -18 acres
Planted to: Cabernet Sauvignon 


Eco Terreno - 100 acres
Planted to: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc

Home Farm - 2.5 acres

Westwood Wines (Annadel Gap) - 22 acres
Planted to: Pinot Noir and Rhone varietals


Tablas Creek - 127 acres
Planted to Rhone varietals


Popeloucham (Randall Grahm/Bonny Doon) - 5 acres (an additional 8 acres coming soon)
Planted to: Furmint, Grenache Gris and Grenache Blanc

Hedges Family Estate (Red Mountain AVA Partners LLC) - 16 acres  (Les Gosses)
Planted to: Syrah

Congrats to all of these wineries for pursuing holistic farming standards and exemplary agricultural practices.

Note: This post formerly reported 409 acres, based on Boisset reporting 72 acres. Boisset actually already had 60 acres and is certifying an additional 12 acres, so the overall total has been adjusted accordingly.

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