theCorkHead.com

theCorkHead.com

The online home of Mark “The Cork Head” Stuart, Certified Wine Professional, speaker/educator, judge, and columnist.

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May 2017
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Going green is now more hip than ever, but Bonterra Winery has long believed in organic practices.  In fact, their vineyards have been certified organic for more than 15 years. 

Their grapes are grown without the use of any artificial fertilizers or synthetic chemicals to build a living soil that encourages natural pest/predator balance. By fostering the health of the soil, Bonterra believes the plant will in turn be healthier and therefore produce better fruit for winemaking.

Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a USDA accredited certifier inspects the vineyard make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards.  Assisting the USDA is the California Certified Organic Farmers.  CCOF promotes and supports organic food and agriculture through their certification program, trade support, and other traditional trade association activities.

Organic grape production is much more than simply replacing chemical fertilizers with natural ones.  CCOF producers implement a wide range of strategies to develop and maintain biological diversity and replenish soil fertility naturally.  Bonterra controls insects and other vineyard pests in their vineyards by erecting birdhouses around their property and even releases their free-range chickens throughout the vineyards each morning to fertilize the land.

Clearly the organic efforts of Bonterra are paying off as accolades have been pouring in from critics and competitions.  The 2006 Bonterra Chardonnay received 89 points from the Wine Enthusiast and a silver medal at the 2008 California State Fair Wine Competition.  The winery’s other varietals have fared well too, such as their 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (Gold, Los Angeles Wine and Spirits Competition), the 2006 Sauvignon Blanc (Gold, Best of Class, Los Angeles Wine and Spirits Competition), and the 2006 Viognier (Best of Class, 2008 California State Fair Wine Competition).  Additionally, Bonterra was named “Value Brand of the Year” in 2007 by Wine and Spirits Magazine.

Though the Bonterra winery is not open for public tastings, their wines are widely available to greater San Diego residents.  Look for them at local Beverages and More stores as well as at Vons.  Though each varietal has a different price point, they all can usually be found at $15 or less.

Find the best prices on Bonterra wines here

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