Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc, California 2019

Medium straw-yellow color; white peach, kumquat, grapefruit, lime on the nose; grapefruit, white peach, pineapple, lemon-lime, melon, minerality on the palate.

Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc, California 2019

Dry; impressive acidity (3.17 pH). This is round easy drinker with tartness coming forth on the finish. It could work as a bright, fresh after-dinner drink, not just a traditional multi-purpose sauv blanc food wine. This tracks somewhat with my review of the previous vintage, but this is 100% sauv blanc play (the 2018 had some chard to round things out). This is round and smooth all by itself with no tongue-cutting elements sometimes found in New Zealand efforts. This presents the soft, approachable side of sauv blanc while still retaining its foodie friendliness; 13.2% ABV.

Made with organically-farmed fruit from Mendocino, Lake, San Luis Obispo, and Sonoma counties. Vinified 100% in temperature-controlled stainless steel “avoiding any oak contact to preserve the classic vibrancy characteristic of Sauvignon Blanc.” The wine spent six months in the tanks. Medium body. Pleasing texture.

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 vineyard and pond
Bonterra winery

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 vintners

Bob Blue is the founding winemaker. Jeff Cichocki is the lead winemaker on this effort. Cichocki admirably 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 Sauvignon Blanc, California 2019 is excellent introduction to sauv blanc. Easy drinker, especially for a sauvignon blanc. Round, smooth, happily approachable, pleasurable mouthfeel. Pair with shellfish; poached salmon; grilled fish; light fish; pasta with seafood; baked/rotisserie chicken; chicken salad sandwich; pork loin roast; Asian fusion cuisine; garden salads; milder cheeses. $13-15

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 biodynamic 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 with flowers
Bonterra dining & wine room
Bonterra Vineyards founding winemaker Bob Blue
Senior Bonterra winemaker Jeff Cichoki
Bonterra vineyard