Wednesday, August 23, 2023

California's Organic Wave: Wine Grape Acreage Increases By 1,774 Acres in Last 12 Months - Napa Increase is 1,000+

Driven by four major producers, California's added 1,774 acres of certified organic wine grape vineyards in the last 12 months, according to data from the USDA Organic Integrity Database. 

What's remarkable is that the biggest properties–four groups of properties with a total of 1,370 acres or 77 percent of the new acres–getting certified are large wineries who represent a mix of family owned (Jackson, Halter Ranch, Stolpman) as well as big corporations (Constellation). 

1. SONOMA COUNTY 732.95 Acres

CORRECTED: 67.95 Acres

Jackson Family 664 Acres - NAPA COUNTY - SEE BELOW

The biggest new addition was 664 acres in Sonoma at Jackson Family. Sonoma County added 732.95 acres, including Jackson. ***CORRECTION THESE ARE IN NAPA according to the winery. CCOF does require Jackson to provide property addresses for the certified properties but had originally listed them under Sonoma administration address. The address for Jackson provided in the USDA Organic Integrity Database has now been changed to Napa. The more detailed view of the properties is a public client profile record that CCOF provided to me upon request. See Sept. 6 blog post.

------ The other wineries' vineyards below are in Sonoma: 

• Abbot's Passage - 40 (on top of 264 at Gundlach in July 2022)

• Barton/Ernest - 17

• RAEN - 6.8

• Sophie James - 5.5

Sonoma has traditionally lagged way behind Napa, formerly with about 3 percent organic vineyards in the past. 

2. NAPA COUNTY 430 Acres + 664 Acres (Jackson - correction Sept. 6, 2023) = 1.094 Acres

Jackson Family Wines: 

The winery says: 
"There are 15 estate vineyard properties that are now certified organic in Napa Valley ranging from valley floor vineyards in Oakville and Rutherford, to esteemed hillside and mountain estates in Mt. Veeder, Howell Mountain, Spring Mountain and Diamond Mountain. 

These vineyards are the primary source for some of our most sought-after wines from Cardinale, Freemark Abbey, Lokoya, La Jota, Mt. Brave, and Caladan, among others."

Constellation's To Kalon 331 Acres

Constellation added 331 acres, while overall Napa's total increase was 430. (MacDonald's portion of To Salon was certified.)

Other newly certified vineyards in Napa County include:

• Kelham (bordering To Kalon) - 48

• Corison - 19

• Dickerson - 13

• Brand - 12

• Saltiel - 6.5

Napa has formerly had around 12+ percent certified organic acres. (USDA and CDFA do not count organic acres). 


Halter Ranch 200

The 2,700 acres Adelaida District property certified 200 acres of wine grapes.

Other newly certified vineyards in Paso/SLO include:

• Loma Seca - 35

• Yerba Buena - 25 (including walnuts)

Chamisal's Edna Valley estate is in transition and anticipates certification soon. 

Near Avila Beach, the 30 acre Bassi Vineyard is expected to become Demeter biodynamic certified this fall.

Others in the include SLO organic certification pipeline–Gallo owned Robert Hall in Paso. (Booker [also owned by Gallo] was already certified in 2022.) 


Stolpman 175 Acres

Stolpman Vineyards in Ballard Canyon certified 174 out of 198.5 in Santa Barbara County.

• Grimm's Bluff - 17

• Boschne - 7.5

5. LODI 52.9 Acres

Vino Farms 52.9 Acres

One big surprise is that organic numbers (though very tiny) in Lodi acres are increasing. 

In the state's biggesting wine growing region (110,000 planted acres), two properties farmed by the Ledbetters' Vina Farms are now certified organic with 52.9 acres added in the last 12 months.


FarmTogether 230 Acres (Not Just in the Last 12 Months)

Another 88 acres at previously certified Hidden Oaks in the Clement Hills AVA was recently purchased by FarmTogether, bringing the company's total in Lodi to 230.


Hidden Oaks Organic Vineyard is FarmTogether’s second wine grape deal. The property is located a short distance north of the town of Clements in San Joaquin County, about 15 miles east of Lodi and 40 miles southeast of Sacramento. It is situated in the Clements Hills AVA, a sub-appellation of the broader Lodi AVA, one of California’s growing wine-producing regions.

The property consists of 88 planted acres of mature vines, all of which were planted in 2015 to Cabernet Sauvignon— one of the region’s more popular varieties among growers and the most widely grown grape in California. 

ABADIE Agriculture and Land Company, LLC is a minority investor in FarmTogether’s Hidden Oaks Organic Vineyard offering. 

FarmTogether buys and sells farmland and partners with local operators, negotiates service agreements, and ensures sustainable farmland practices to provide investment opportunities with the potential for long-term income generation.


In 2022, FarmTogether bought the Vista Luna Organic Vineyard in the Borden Hills region of Lodi from Bokisch. It has 142 planted acres which were already certified organic. 

Sources said Farm Together's Lodi grapes are sold to Bonterra.


Scheid continues to grow its organic acreage as well, with 666 acres now certified. The winery has announced plans to certify a total of 3,000 acres.

1 comment:

  1. Hi
    It’s great you are reporting about the organic movement. I’d love to chat with you regarding our organic history. We have roughly 1300 acres certified with another 250 in the pipeline. We have seen increased quality since we started nearly 30 years ago.
    Best regards,
    Niels Udsen
    Castoro Cellars