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Neal Family Vineyards Leads the Way as The First Regenerative Organic Certificated® Winery in Napa Valley
The Neal Family Vineyards in Napa Valley have always been known as prestigious, organically farmed vineyards. And now, going back to their beginnings over 50 years ago, they’ve shown the world what can be accomplished through mindful, organic farming methods and practices. Recently named the first Regenerative Organic Certified® vineyard in Napa Valley, the Neal Family Vineyard Estates becomes one of only five Regenerative Organic Certified® vineyard estates in the world as recognized by the Regenerative Organic Alliance.
12 bottles of booze — from bourbon to bubbly —
perfect for every type of drinker on your holiday gift list
The green bottle
By “green,” we mean eco-minded. And that is certainly the case with the wines from Neal Family Vineyards, a Napa Valley producer that adheres to both biodynamic and organic standards. Indeed, founder Mark Neal is often credited as a pioneer in the industry — he went organic in 1984, long before other California winemakers started embracing this approach. The Neal Family’s wines run the gamut — both in terms of price and varietals. A good gift-minded offering is the Howell Mountain Collection ($299) with three bottles of different vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mark Neal, founder and owner of Neal Family Vineyards, credits his Greek grandmother for influencing his organic farming philosophy. Growing up on the island of Crete, her family didn’t just grow grapes, but also farmed vegetables, fruit, olives, and raised animals, as part of a naturally biodiverse farming system. These same practices were adopted by his parents when they moved to Napa Valley in 1968 to purchase land and start an organic farm.
“They farmed tomatoes, grapes, prunes, walnuts and raised cattle,” stated Neal, in an online interview. “Everyone in Napa Valley farmed diverse crops back then. It was a way to hedge our bets as farmers, because you never knew what Mother Nature would bring.”
Now that same focus on biodiversity is back in style, prompted not only by changing climate conditions, but by consumers who are becoming more concerned with sustainable and organically farmed products.
Bottle Service: Everything’s Gone Green:
Great organic, biodynamic, and regeneratively farmed wines
“Mark Neal manages hundreds of acres of vineyard land throughout Napa Valley and farms his own vineyard (certified organic) both on Howell Mountain and in Rutherford. This cassis-rich offers both valley-floor richness and mountain-vineyard structure; look also for his nectarine-scented 2021 Vermentino.”
— Ray Isle
Neal’s approach is ‘definitely something new for Napa,’ said S. Kaan Kurtural, viticulture specialist at UC Davis.”
— Esther Mobley of San Francisco Chronicle
Vintner Mark Neal considers himself a farmer first and foremost. He hails from one of the pioneering families of Napa Valley, farming organically alongside his parents on their Rutherford property, where they grew grapes and walnuts. Young Mark started driving a tractor at age 8, and by the time he was 14, he was making garage wine with his father. Today, he operates the largest organic and biodynamic farming company in the valley, managing 720 acres of vineyards for many of the region’s cult-favorite varietals.
Neal Family also makes just a few thousand cases of 100% estate-grown biodynamic and regenerative organic wines from family property in the Rutherford and Howell Mountain AVAs. The brand is best known for its cabernet sauvignon, but the citrusy vermentino is delightfully elegant as well. Personalized tastings are by appointment only, including tours of the vineyards, caves and winery.
on Howell Mountain
“Since 1997, Neal Vineyards has crafted striking, organic wines from its Rutherford and Howell Mountain vineyards. Yet the winery has also remained a small, dynamic family business, the kind that could be found everywhere in the early days of Napa Valley.”
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