It's a Green Revolution: Sustainable, Organic, and Biodynamic

Benziger Family Winery
Sonoma, California

It is a combination of appreciation for family and respect for the land that allows Benziger Family Winery to craft wines that fully express where they come from. In each sip one can taste Sonoma County.

Much of the distinct flavor of Benziger wines is owed to its everlasting commitment to environmentally friendly practices. At Benziger there is a three-tier farming system: certified sustainable, organic, and Biodynamic. By 2000 all four of their Sonoma County estate vineyards were certified Biodynamic. This highest form of organic farming is a holistic approach to agriculture that not only eliminates chemicals, but also takes into account all forces of nature that affect the vine. Biodynamics stresses the importance of a self-sustaining ecosystem in which all living things on the estate are connected.

Benziger has been recognized in the community for its continued environmental efforts. It was featured in Wine Spectator magazine as a Green Revolutionary and also selected as Sunset magazine's first-ever "Green Winery." Benziger was the first in Sonoma County to qualify for Bay Area Green Business Certification, and was also voted "Sonoma Valley Business of the Year" for their community and environmental leadership.

With such environmentally advanced principles, it may come as a surprise that the Benziger family has been making wine in Sonoma for over 25 years. Mike and Mary Benziger first purchased the land in Glen Ellen, California, with the help of Mike's father, Bruno, a wine and spirits importer from New York. Soon after Bruno and his wife, Helen, along with their two youngest children, Chris and Kathy, moved out west. It wasn't long before the rest of the Benziger clan followed suit. Today, more than two-dozen Benzigers live on or near the estate in Sonoma County.

Like the Benziger family, their wines come from strong, healthy roots. "Benziger is a winery defined by family, passion, and enthusiasm," says Chris Benziger. Clearly, this passion is nourishing the land so it in turn provides for strong, satisfying wines.

What to Buy:

'07 Chardonnay Aromas of peach, pear, green apple. Supple. Clean finish $16
'07 Sauvignon Blanc Crisp and clean with bright citrus flavors, floral aromas $13
'06 Pinot Noir Aromas of spice, nutmeg. Rich rhubarb. Hints of tart cranberry, red cherry $26
'05 Tribute Earthy aromas. Beautifully textured entry. Soft, fine grain tannins $80

Contact:

888.490.2739; Fax: 707.935.3018
www.benziger.com
1883 London Ranch Rd.
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Tasting Room Open Daily 10-5

Getting There:

From downtown Sonoma head west on Napa St. Turn right at Sonoma Hwy 12, then left on Verano Ave, then right on Arnold Dr. Turn left on London Ranch Rd.

This story originally appeared on Touring and Tasting