Bonterra Wines Dishes the Dirt on Soil

Mar. 29, 2019


Breaking news: Organic farming is good for the earth. No, literally, the techniques used in organic, and biodynamic, farming improve the quality of the soil. This may seem like common sense, but thanks to our partners at Bonterra Organic Vineyards, we now have scientific data to back it up, as well as a brand-new tool for promoting Bonterra’s portfolio of fine wines to climate-conscious consumers.

The Nitty Gritty

This month, Bonterra released a landmark study on the impact of organic and biodynamic farming on the health of soil. Produced in conjunction with Pacific Agroecology, the study included painstaking analysis of all of Bonterra's approximately 1,000 acres of Mendocino County vineyards to track soil organic carbon. In a 2017 report by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, soil organic carbon is described "as an indicator for soil health ... important for its contributions to food production, mitigation and adaptation to climate change."

The results of the study showed that the soil from biodynamic sites holds the most organic carbon, a key determinant in soil health, followed closely by organic sites. Overall, organic and biodynamic vineyards store nine to 12 percent more organic carbon than traditionally farmed land. And that 12 percent is good news for people who like land.

"Soil organic carbon—something regenerative farming strives to enhance—is a signal of how well a landscape captures and stores carbon, and also contributes many long-term benefits to soil health, such as improved aeration, drought resistance, and erosion prevention," said Joseph Brinkley, director of vineyards for Bonterra.



Saving the (Literal) Earth

Can wine production fight climate change? The short answer is “yes.” The more nuanced answer, courtesy of Elizabeth Drake, regenerative development manager for Bonterra Organic Vineyards, is that we have an "early indication that regenerative farming practices lead to healthier, more productive soils, while contributing to the mitigation of climate change by holding more carbon underground."

Both biodynamic and organic farming practices are superior to conventional farming techniques in terms of storing carbon in the soil, thus fighting climate change. But this should not come as a shock to anyone who knows Bonterra. The company has already made a name for itself as a producer of high-quality, organic wines, and has long been an evangelizer for the efficacy and benefits of non-conventional farming techniques.

This study is the culmination of a lot of hard work by Bonterra and Pacific Agroecology, and one more step in the decades-long work by Bonterra to promote and popularize the idea that quality does not need to be sacrificed for sustainable, organic farming practices to flourish. 

Organic Sales

For thirty years, Bonterra has been producing incredible wines and promoting regenerative agriculture as a part of the company’s brand identity and mission. This groundbreaking study (or rather, ground-repairing) is one more way the brand has demonstrated its commitment to fine wine, and the earth, a winning combination which has proved most appealing to consumers over the decades—now more than ever. 

Talk to your Breakthru Sales Consultant to learn more about how your business can grow—sustainably—with Bonterra wines. And to learn more about Elizabeth Drake and Bonterra, read our “Women in Wine” feature, “Doing Good with Elizabeth Drake and Bonterra Wines.”

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