Sustainable Organic Wine-Making at Its Best

The key for making good wine is to have
really healthy grapes. When we do organic we get that balance
in the vineyard and balance then translates to the winery, and I
think the wines taste great. While many of us now know what
organic tastes like, most of us have no idea what organic
actually looks and sounds like. I think I’m a better farmer
because I’m organic. I have to be out in the vines. I have to
be out seeing what’s happening. And the more you come out and
see it, the more you’re in tune with the vineyard. The more that
you can set the vineyard up for success. Well, what you’ve just
experienced was small taste of that courtesy of the industry’s
number one organic vineyard. The philosophy is called
biodiversity and no one does it better than the Vitners from
Bonterra Organic Vineyards. And Dave Cobal is from Bonterra and
he is here to tell us all about it. Welcome to the set. Welcome
to the show. Thank you. You know I’ve been waiting for this
segment all day. Good, that’s good to hear. Be the change is
all about initiatives that make the world a better place. But
organic farming literally makes the earth a better place, and
Bonterra stands for good earth. Good earth. Exactly. How long
have you been organic and what’s your story? We’ve been organic
actually since 1987. Wow. And the story didn’t start in the
vineyard, it started in a garden. As you can imagine, in
an organic garden the fruits and vegetables tasted great. And the
ideas, if those fruits and vegetables can taste great, why
can’t we do that in the vineyard and make fabulous wine out of
it? So, that’s how we got going. And we had to farm organically 3
years before we could be certified. Really? It takes 3
years and so we were certified in 1990 and then til now. It’s
been 26 years that we’ve been farming organically. Before it
was in, before it was cool. You were in before it was cool. I
love that. Well tell me about the biodynamic way an organic
farm works. Organic farming, it used to be just about no
synthetic materials in the farming input, right? Now it’s
way more than that. Organic farming, biodynamic farming,
they’re system approaches. So instead of just looking at the
crop plant, we look at the whole farm. So it’s not only here’s
your grapevine but it’s also about what’s happening in the
soil, what’s happening above the soil, and then what’s happening
with the grapevine. Because all that biodiversity matters. You
need biodiversity in your soil to have a healthy efficient soil
to provide nutrients. So this goes deep. It does, yes. Tell us
about some of the sustainability that the initiatives that
Bonterra has really achieved as you began this whole process.
That even goes back to one of the reasons why we went organic
in the first place. OK. Because not only is it good for the
fruit but it’s also good for the people that work in the
vineyards. Because each vine gets touched probably 10 times
throughout the growing season. Wow. And so that’s alot of
exposure, so we felt it safe for the people that have to work
there and it’s better for the environment too. So you don’t
have alot of this pesticide runoff coming out of our
vineyards. Yeahhh. And for us, we’re looking at everything so
we’re taking care of the streams around our properties as well.
So that’s part of that sustainability issue but we’ve
been buying green power since the 1990’s. Hydro-electric solar
wind, a hundred percent. So the more you buy our wine, the more
you support organic agriculture, sustainable agriculture,
biodynamic agriculture. The more that you can support us having
sheep in the vineyards. We’ve replace tractors with sheep for
winter weeding. Your kidding? Nope. Alright, you’ve won so
many awards, now I get to taste some of this wine. Exactly. So
let’s do a little tasting here. So we’re gonna start with a
Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc. OK. Love your label by the way.
Thank you very much. Nice screw cap on there. Perfect. Here. OK
thank you. I’ll give you that. Alright, so that – Oh my gosh.
That’s like – It should be nice and beautiful and fruity and
crisp. Light and crisp and I love a good sauvignon blanc.
Love it for picnics. Love it outside. Hot, humid day. Yes.
Cold sauvignon blanc is great. Perfect, OK what’s next. This is
really good guys. This is what you want to try. And that kind
of fruit runs through all of our wines. Whether it’s a chardonnay
or the cabernet or the merlot. There’s always that nice fruit
component because that’s why we went to organic. We wanted to
showcase the fruit in the wine. Great. I’m lookin at this red.
We’re going a little bit bigger glass. We have to switch
glasses, yep. And you decanted that. We did, so that’s merlot.
We want it to breathe a little bit. Got it. When you open up a
wine early or decant it, it allows it to oxygenate a little
bit, and that’ll allow some of the flavors to come out a little
better. Cheers. Cheers. That’s so smooth and I couldn’t even
wait to smell it. I just went right in for the taste. But it’s
got that nice fruit component. Yes. Red fruit, black fruit in
there. Well, you know I wish we could stay around here all day
and you know when we leave our viewers. You and aren’t going
anywhere. We’ll have a little snack. Yep. You know I want to
congratulate you and the growers everywhere for doing what you’re
doing, for giving us this choice out there. It’s fantastic. Thank
you. Come back anytime you want. OK. To see me. Sure. Great to
have you Dave. Good, thank you. Alright, and for more
information about Bonterra Wines, just go to
or simply log on to and don’t
forget to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, and at
#bthechange & #bethechange. You can find it all over. And Dave,
It was so great to have you here. Cheers. Thank you very
much MUSIC

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