Last week I visited Quivera in Dry Creek, Sonoma. A relatively small winery specializing in Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, and a few small production Rhone varietal bottlings. Over the last decade, they have moved to using biodynamic principles throughout the winery. They employ a full time person to oversee a full biodymic garden. The garden is comprised of raised beds with labels showing what is being grown and occasionally, a local restaurant name. Local restaurants are allowed to use the vegetables in exchange for a donation to a local charity. While the garden is not meant as a profitable enterprise, it does encourage a growing, vibrant ecosystem at the winery and vineyards.
On our tour, we went by a bee colony. The assistant winemaker explained he had taken responsibility for the bees and unfortunately, the colony was dying because of mites. He knew there were sprays that would help, but they would be outside the biodynamic principles. The sprays would leave ten percent of the mites alive, making them stronger. The bee colony would survive, but it was already a week colony. He said it was not the way nature meant it to be and a chemical spray would only perpetuate the problem. It was a unique insite into the principle of biodynamics. They are also raising a wild boar which was caught in a fence surrounded a vineyard. They use the boar to get rid of compost.
The wines of Quivera are extremely easy-drinking and affordable. Today, there is a variety of wines to drink but it is nice to get a combination of someone doing wine right, at an affordable price.