Organically farmed and masterfully crafted, Bonterra Organic Vineyards epitomizes wines that are perfectly in tune with nature. A celebration of farm-fresh flavors, the portfolio features wines coaxed from the earth by careful farming practices carried out on a dynamic network of estate and partner farms throughout California.
In addition to a widely available collection of organically farmed wines that includes Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Equinox Red and Rosé, Bonterra crafts a trio of sought-after single-vineyard offerings from estate biodynamic vineyards in Mendocino County, and The Elysian Collection Merlot, an elevated offering from organic grapes.
Long before organic produce filled the shelves of neighborhood groceries, the dedicated team at Bonterra was committed to organic and biodynamic farming because they passionately believe that farms teeming with biodiversity—encompassing vines, insects and wildlife, and healthy soils—yield organic grapes leading to better wines.
Joseph Brinkley’s expertise, including his extensive knowledge of biodynamic preparations, contribute to ongoing excellence at Bonterra, purveyor of the nation’s leading wine from organically farmed grapes and a trio of acclaimed wines from certified-biodynamic grapes. “Bonterra has been farming organically for more than thirty years and biodynamically for more than fifteen, and it’s an honor to help bring these wines to fruition – as it all starts in the vineyard,” says Joseph.
Joseph, who holds a degree in Economics from Virginia Commonwealth University, was working for the Federal Reserve in Richmond, Virginia when he realized he would rather get his hands dirty than work in an office. He went back to school, the second time attending Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Horticulture in 2003.
Following graduation, Joseph worked with a number of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms while complementing his education with workshops at Virginia’s Josephine Porter Institute, an internationally acclaimed educational facility that advances education and research in biodynamics. “I was enjoying learning the details of farming land, including best practices for compost and soil management—and gaining insight to anything that contributed to the overall health of the farm,” Joseph remarks.
Today, Joseph’s vision, drive for farming that balances quality with the natural needs of each site, and energy for the work to be done daily are helping this acclaimed label reach new heights.
Bob Blue is a pioneer in the organic wine arena and the founding winemaker for Bonterra, with deep roots in Mendocino’s vineyards. Ironic, given that he grew up in a family of tee‐totalers in Lake County, California. His first taste of wine, in fact, happened on another continent. Bob joined the Army after high school and his world was opened when traveling through Germany as a GI. After graduating from UC-Davis, Bob joined Mendocino County’s McDowell Valley Vineyards and progressed through the lab and cellar.
In 1988, Bob joined what he now calls “Fetzer University,” where he apprenticed and was mentored by legendary California winemakers Paul Dolan and Dennis Martin. He traveled to Bordeaux, Burgundy and on to Australia and the Rhône, broadening his knowledge and sense of style. As general manager of Fetzer Vineyards’ Hopland Winery, he continued to influence winemaking and was made red varietal winemaker before being named winemaker for Bonterra.
Garrett Sathre was born in California and spent his childhood bouncing back and forth between Sonoma and Minneapolis before moving to New York at the age of 19.
Quickly after arriving in Manhattan Garrett found himself bartending in establishments like Cafeteria, East Side Company and the Tribeca Grand Hotel where he was trained by world-renowned bartender Sasha Petraske. Eventually Garrett found his way back to California and into the kitchen. Starting as a line cook at AVA in the tiny little Northern California town of San Anselmo, and working after hours at Marin Pasta Works. Shortly after he was trained in the kitchen, he talked himself into a partnership at the town’s 30-year-old hot spot Bubba’s Diner, which he rebranded as a modern diner “Where Grease Meets Organic”. It was here that he met his wife Nicole Benjamin and her young son when they came in one morning to order pancakes. Within a year the couple’s first daughter was born. Always restless and wanting to spend more time with his family, Garrett quickly learned that the day-to-day operations a restaurant required at that level weren’t for him. Creativity, fresh ideas, branding and starting new businesses are what excite him.