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Bonterra vineyards have been farmed organically since 1987, long before organic products were widely available in America. The inspiration for farming this way was simple: organic grapes produce the purest expressions of the varietals and land on which they are farmed. At Bonterra, we have a deep respect for the environment. Organic farming and regenerative practices enrich the biodiversity in our vineyards year after year.

 Organic farming poses natural challenges which require natural solutions. The animal “partners” offer fantastic solutions for farming issues like pests and the need for added fertility. Instead of spraying our vines with chemicals to ward off pests, sheep and chickens roam through our vineyards munching on insects and trimming the weeds.

They work with Sola Bee Farms to bring bee hives into the vineyards, providing chemical-free sanctuaries for bees. We encourage a healthy habitat for bees with our native plants which bloom throughout the seasons.
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When released in the vineyards, chickens eat weeds and insects that can harm the vines. Their scratching and pecking naturally aerates the soil, which ultimately provides additional nutrients to the vines.
December through March, around 2,000 sheep visit the vineyards. The roaming sheep snack on the cover crops and weeds from one vineyard to the next. They thrive on the rich organic greens as they “landscape” the vineyards, adding beneficial fertilizer to the soil as they graze.

One of the greatest and most important assets in our vineyards is the soil. At Bonterra, they often say, “Soil is Everything.” If the soil is not healthy and diverse with nutrients, other systems struggle and the resulting fruit from the vines is affected. There are many things we do to ensure our soil is as healthy as possible.

Cover crops suppress weeds, build productive soil, and help control pests and diseases. We plant a variety of cover crops down the rows between the vines to naturally add nitrogen, control the vigor and keep the soil loose and moist, which reduces runoff and the need for irrigation. Then we compost those cover crops (along with all our other plant waste) to feed back into the soil.

- Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon Organic 2012 750ml - North Coast

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