Thank you .. ‘Dirt du Jour’

for the glowing review! "Go ask Alice ... where all the best vineyard gardens are. She's an erudite charmer; you'll have fun!"

California Wine Country

Benziger Winery's Bio-Dynamic Gardens

 

Bio-Dynamic Discovery Trail

Benziger Winery Discovery Trail Photo © Alice Joyce

The Bio-Dynamic gardens of Benziger Winery offer a perfect day in Wine Country, with a self-guided Biodynamic Discovery Trail that takes its inspiration from biodynamic agriculture: a movement associated with philosopher and founder of anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner.  The Trail melds ornamentals, edibles and insectary plants, with demonstration stations describing the farming practices Benziger employs on its 85-acre Sonoma Mountain ranch land.

Benziger Winery Vista with Palm Trees Photo © Alice Joyce

Especially eye-catching – a flow form water feature exhibits an aerating, recirculating vortex pattern.

Benziger Winery Biodynamic Flow Form Photo © Alice Joyce

Soon after the new demonstration area opened, I toured the estate with Colby Eierman, director of sustainability. It was a chance to see first-hand the integration of sheep, cows, and chickens in the vineyards. In the complex topography of the site, sheep do a great job of mowing under the vines, and on the steeper slopes.

Benziger Winery Biodynamic gardens Photo © Alice Joyce

On the east facing slope of Sonoma Mountain, a lovely arrangement is revealed in the terraced construction, creating a variety of habitats amid plantings of lavender, echiums, bottlebrush, and groves of olive trees.

There is land set aside for insectary habitats to attract the ‘good bugs,’ and edible gardens teeming with herbs, veggies, and fruit trees; providing fresh organic ingredients to the chefs at El Dorado Kitchena Sonoma destination restaurant.

Benziger Herbs & blooms Photo © Alice Joyce

All of which contributes to the health of the organism that is the larger farm system. Grounded in holistic methods, the Biodynamic farming at Benziger affects the soil in distinctive ways, coloring the flavor of the grapes and the quality of the wines. Book the Vineyard’s Tram Tour to enjoywine-tasting, and get an up-close look at the landscape and gardens, barrel caves, and more.

5 comments to Benziger Winery .. Bio-Dynamic Gardens

  • I love this winery! But somehow I missed that cool fountain-thingy when I visited in the past.

  • Hi Lisa
    The demonstration area opened last year, so maybe you visited before it was completed? Now that spring has arrived, I’m ready to visit again!

  • Thank you for sharing, its very impressive. And speaking of, I am impressed that you hadn’t consumed too much wine to take these wonderful photographs!

  • Dear UDG,
    I’m sooo moderate, although it’s not easy when faced with great wine!

  • Hi Alice, i tried to visualize the site from your description, and i envy the success of the developers. It is difficult to manage and maintain, and i can see they are good at it. How i wish i can see biodynamic farms also. We have a slight form of it in our property, but very poor because they are mostly left on their own. Besides we have difficulty with water during dry months. Thanks for this.