Know your winegrower

Think before you drink. Know your winegrower.

Consumers can get influenced into these fast third-party companies when it comes to fads, trends and what is hot now. This is no different when it comes to wine , the third-party owner or buyers who do not have any real-time connection with the vineyards, owners, wine makers or even the winery.  Their connection comes down to quick marketing: find a product and move boxes of wine. This is where Neal Family Vineyards have separated to the very top tier for the last three generations by farming the vineyards, making and operating the winery, and selling the product, controlling the product from start to finish.

In 1973 California Certified Organic Farmers was formed, cementing the broad certification of the organic movement. In 1997, Whole Foods was founded and continues to lead the organic grocery chains in the world. The last several years consumers have become increasing demanding as they are becoming more mindful of what they consume. As consumers are educating themselves, seeking products such as produce, proteins and products that align with their health, a trend is re-emerging, a trend that started in the 70’s with organically grown, produced and/or made. The worldwide wine market is in the spotlight of this trend for numerous reasons.

  1. Health and healthy lifestyle: consumers are becoming more educated on the food they are putting in their bodies and more mindful of what food they are purchasing.
  2. Climate Change: as the world addresses climate change, this brings world agriculture and its position an additional carbon sink to the world’s forest and the largest sink the waters of the world to attention. The only way to really do this would be to restore and maintain clean healthy soils to build maximum carbon impoundment through organic farming methods. We support the historic pillar of Organic Farming which how farming was for 1000 of years prior to the chemical era of the late 1800’s. Organic Farming on of the three pillars of ROC®

It takes three years to certify your land organic in California. The trend for larger wineries in Napa Valley to start transitioning their vineyards to certified organic today, would have to have started in 2020. This means that there is a three-year adaptation period to the current trends for wineries and vineyards to react to the trend today. For farmers and wineries like ours, we have been certified for 40 years. 40 years of farming organically, making wine organically. Our soil positions us to lead this trend for organic farming and organic wines.

Our story and our differences

We started almost 60 years ago. Neal Family Vineyards farms their own Estate Vineyards and has been involved in organic farming as well as biodynamic methods since 1966. We certified our vineyards in 1984 with CCOF. Our winery in Howell Mountain, built in 1998, is also Certified Organic with CCOF as a production facility. This means we do not stop the farming of our own land organically; we make our wines Certified Organic as well. We are truly from farm to table with a certified organic process and certified organic product that has been tried and trusted. No third party. We completed our 15th year of our wine in 2023. As this “new phenomenal” trend takes hold in Napa and worldwide we are proud that we were the first in Napa Valley and the first to be Regenerative Organic Certified.

Know your Farmer

These three words should have never been taken lightly for the last 120 years since the chemical era started. This is across all fellow agricultural to agriculture that produce from Acai to Zucchini.  When a farmer applies synthetic materials directly to the plant or non-directly to the soil or into the water (if its grown hydroponic) harms farmer workers, aquifers and other water ways; kills the microorganisms and the good bacteria in the soils, kills or harms non and beneficial insects, enter the roots or absorbed in the produce above ground through. Any product made from the agricultural plant wheat that becomes flour are not exceptions. You cannot wash the materials off as they are absorbed into the plant. So, in the case of any synthetic materials applied for example corn or hay the cows will test positive to seeds the cow that eats the corn will have  

Neal Family Vineyards is a very rare breed, we are part of the 4% in California.

The 4%

4% of the world’s organic vineyards are in the USA.

That means only 4% of the USA is using organic fruit, however that doesn’t mean that all of it is going into Organic Wines. How many wineries are using organic grapes and making organic wine? Well less than 4% that is for sure. Very few and we are a part of that few. Top that with family farmed and we are joined by only a handful.

Neal Family Vineyards layers additional certifications atop CCOF. Neal Vineyards is Certified Biodynamic® and only a handful of certified Regenerative Organic Certified vineyards™️ in the world. The only wine that tops an Organically Certified Grown grape and produced wine from Napa Valley is knowing the farmer. From vine to bottle, understand what you are drinking. Know your farmer to know your wine, it’s no different to know who grew the corn or beef!

Not stating these facts to brag or boast about our certifications, but rather to explain a bit about organic ethos. Organic farming is in our blood, having been farming organically since 1966. Understanding what fields your end product, in this case a bottle of wine, is grown in matters. How long those vineyards and soils have been organic matters. Understanding the farming methods used on those vines matters. It matters to the quality of wine, the longevity of the wine and the health of the wine.

Becoming a Regenerative Organic Certified™️ vineyard in 2022 is a continuation of our work towards establishing a biodiverse permaculture in our vineyards in Napa Valley. This discipline, we layered from a forward direction since 1966. Our souls as farmers are to produce the healthiest grapes and it starts with being Certified Organic which we established with CCOF in 1984. This is the foundation that holds layers of the healthiest farming methods on earth.  My grandmother from Crete in the farming business, showed us the ways with biodynamic farming. Her background was not all that Rudy Steiner developed, however got us onto the platform of being Demeter Biodynamic® Certified.  Our top tier ROC addresses the complexities we face as farmers dealing with the layered uncertainties of climate change. It reflects our commitment to free of synthetic made pesticides, carbon sequestration, and permaculture as stewards of this land for future generations. It further reflects our commitment to making the healthiest, cleanest wine and respecting our soil in the process. We passionately believe that this is the best way to craft distinctive wines that speak clearly of our vineyards and the character of Napa Valley. 

Therefore, our winemaking follows a minimalist philosophy of doing only what needs to be done to shepherd our organic Estate grapes from the certified organic vineyard to the bottle. A bottle of organic wine.  We pay intense attention to detail is required to make natural wines that are still pristine, with none of the faults you find in some many so-called natural wines. All of our grapes are night-harvested by hand then gently handled so that whole, unbroken grapes are delivered to the crush pad. We do everything possible to give the native yeasts a benign environment to start their work. The hand work continues with punch-downs instead of pump-overs. There are no added commercial yeasts, acids, sugar, tannins or sulfur added during the fermentation process and all go through malolactic fermentation. All of our wines are aged in French Oak barrels, with minimal new barrels used. Every move we make is designed to bring each and every nuance of our vineyard to the finished bottle of wine. 

Certified Organic since 1984

Certified Biodynamic

Regenerative Organic Certified

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