Bonterra Rosé, California 2021

Pale salmon color; strawberry, lime, pineapple, roses on the nose; strawberry, ruby red grapefruit, raspberry, cherry, watermelon, peach on the palate.

Bonterra Rosé, California 2021

Dry; excellent acidity (3.20 pH). Grenache blend—winery doesn’t break down the 2021 ingredients, but the previous vintage was 48% grenache, 11% nebbiolo, 10% malbec, 9% zinfandel, 8% mourvèdre, 8% carignan, 4% sangiovese, and 1% other reds. So let’s just say this deploys some or all the organically-grown red grape varieties in the winery. Led by grenache. 13% ABV

Bonterra is a label of Chilean wine giant Concha y Toro. Concha y Toro acquired the winery in 2011 when they spent $238 million to purchase Brown-Forman, best known for Fetzer Vineyard but also the owner of Bonterra. The new owners upped the Bonterra game.

Bonterra admirably focuses on organic and sustainable agriculture, and it now is the biggest U.S. producer of wines made from organic grapes. “We plant native flowers around our grapes to attract beneficial bugs, and welcome songbirds and chickens into our vineyards to eat up the pests,” they announce on their website. “We even employ sheep to mow between the vines. In our vineyards, every living thing is connected and we all work together to create pure, flavorful wine.”

Bonterra Vineyards founding winemaker Bob Blue
Senior Bonterra winemaker Jeff Cichoki

Bob Blue is the founding winemaker. Jeff Cichocki is the lead winemaker on this effort. Cichocki says he is a non-intrusive winemaker whose goal is to let the grapes speak for themselves. The grapes here come from the North Coast of California, traditionally from Mendocino, Lake, and Sonoma counties.

Bonterra not only commits to organic and sustainable, they go the extra mile into biodynamic farming, sometimes irreverently called voodoo viticulture. Regardless of the put-down, biodynamic consistently produces quality wine. The Bonterra website explains: “systems function together to create a single living organism: the farm as a whole. We farm our Biodynamic ranches striving to achieve this ideal with as few external inputs as possible. Biodynamic farming is a holistic view of agriculture with high awareness of the interconnectivity between earth, plants, animals, humans, the moon and planets.”

Biodynamic tools at Bonterra Winery

Bonterra Rosé, California 2021 treats you in so many ways with so many red grapes you are bound to enjoy at least some of them. Sharp acidity binds this together. Will work year-round, but clearly wins as a chilled summer sipper. Refreshing, fun, easy drinker. Pair with shellfish and lighter fish/seafood; spicy foods—Asian and Mexican; appetizers and snacks; fruity desserts; will work as an aperitif or paired with charcuterie board featuring fresh fruits and cheese over cured meats. $16

Click on the link to the Bonterra website below to get a more complete appreciation of Bonterra and its commitment to biodynamic farming practices and biodynamics in general. Also, there are other very interesting video links.

Bonterra website

Video about Bonterra and organic/biodynamic farming

Video about Bonterra and organic/biodynamic farming

Bonterra vineyard and pond
Bonterra vineyard with flowers
Bonterra dining & wine room
Bonterra vintners