April 4, 2018 (San Francisco, CA) – Demeter USA announced that the first International Biodynamic® Wine Conference is now going to be the largest gathering of Biodynamic wine producers ever assembled in the U.S. More than 45 wineries from five countries are participating in the landmark event which will be held May 6-7 at the Golden Gate Club in San Francisco, California.
“We have never before seen an event of this size and scale in the U.S.,” said Elizabeth Candelario, President of Demeter USA. “This is truly a historic gathering. The quality and reputation of Biodynamic wines in the U.S. are finding greater acclaim and awareness with both consumers and the industry.”
The conference features 37 U.S. wineries and 10 wineries from Argentina, Chile, France, and Italy. Together, they will pour more than 130 wines during the event’s signature tasting event.
“Worldwide there are more than 600 wineries with a total of 20,254 acres of Demeter certified Biodynamic vines,” said Monty Waldin, author of several books on Biodynamic wines and a keynote speaker at the conference. “The majority of the acreage is in France which has 13,591 acres.”
U.S. Top Biodynamic Wine Regions and Producers
In the U.S., there are 45 producers and 3,275 acres of Demeter certified Biodynamic vines. California is the leader with 1,600 acres planted, but Oregon leads in the percentage of vines with 4 percent – or 1,305 acres – of Oregon’s 30,435 acres that are certified Biodynamic.
“In the U.S, we have 45 domestic wineries making about 183,000 cases of wine each year,” Candelario said.
Of the 14 Biodynamic vintners in Oregon, the largest vineyard belongs to King Estate with 465 acres of vines. It is also the largest vineyard owner in the U.S. The biggest Demeter certified wine producer in the U.S. is Montinore Estate with 220 acres which makes 40,000 cases of certified Biodynamic wines each year. Both are located in the Willamette Valley, making the appellation the largest Biodynamic region in both vineyard acreage and wine production.
The largest vineyard cluster is in Mendocino County in the North Coast which has 767 acres. Frey Vineyards and Bonterra have large holdings in the inland valleys surrounding Ukiah.
The Central Coast also ranks high in Biodynamic vineyards, with more than 600 acres of Demeter certified vineyards in both Santa Barbara County (350 acres) and the Paso Robles (250 acres) regions. Some of the largest producers in the region are Beckmen Vineyards, Sea Smoke Estate Vineyards and Tablas Creek.
Sonoma has 431 acres of Biodynamic vines, which are spread out throughout the county. Benziger and Eco Terreno top the list of the largest vineyards with 100 and 93 acres respectively.
“We are so excited to have ten international Biodynamic wineries participating,” Candelario said. Foreign wineries from South America include Chakana and Ernesto Catena from Argentina and Emiliana from Chilé. France is represented by Champagne de Sousa, Chateau Maris from Languedoc, and Domaine des Carabiniers from the Rhone. Alois Lageder from Alto Adige, and Cosimo Maria Masini and Duemani from Tuscany are representing Italy.
“Some of the foreign producers have never poured their wines in the U.S. before, so this is the first time many of us will have an opportunity to try these wines,” said Pam Strayer, conference program director.
A special full-day program for trade and media professionals will feature international experts from around the world and take place from 10 am – 4 pm on Monday, May 7th, with an exclusive trade tasting from 4 pm – 6 pm. The $50 ticket includes the full day program, lunch and trade tasting.
Following the trade program is the Demeter Rocks! tasting and party from 7 pm – 9 pm, open to consumers and the wine industry. Tickets are $75 and are available online.
Biodynamic producers themselves will gather on Sunday, May 6th, for a full-day program of educational events. The event is also open to the public and costs $250. The day includes a keynote presentation on soil and the microbiome with Anne Biklé and David Montgomery, authors of the book “The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health”.
Platinum and Gold sponsors of the event include Oregon wine producers Brooks Wine, King Estate, and Montinore Estate. California sponsoring wineries are Bonterra, Dark Horse Vineyards, DeLoach Vineyards, Eco Terreno, Frey Vineyards, Raymond Vineyards and Sea Smoke. Industry sponsors include Patagonia, Dr. Bronners, and California Certified Sustainable.
For more tickets and program information, visit the conference website at biodynamicwineconference.com and follow the event on twitter @bdwine2018.