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Booker Vineyard, a small winery in Napa Valley, has achieved their highest level of certification as a sustainable farm/winery. Getting a distinction level of certification as a farm is a major accomplishment, as most vineyards are not certified.

Thanks to the recent passing of the Organic Wine Labeling Act, the amount of organic wine being produced in the U.S. has exploded over the past few years. With the new law, vintners can now certify their wines as organic through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a process that determines how many pesticides they can use on their grapes, or if they can use any at all. If you’re a consumer who is interested in drinking organic wines, it’s important to understand that there is more to organic certification than simply using organic grapes. That’s why it’s important to look for the USDA Organic seal on any wine you buy, which guarantees that the wine was made

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A 15-year investment in wellness and transparency has resulted in official CCOF certification for the legendary Paso Robles winery.

April 22 – Paso Robles, CA – Booker Vineyard and Winery announced today that its 60-acre vineyard has received official certification from California Certified Organic Farming (CCOF), which oversees one of the most rigorous and respected programs of its kind in the country.

We’ve been growing organically for 15 years because it’s the right thing to do, says owner and winemaker Eric Jensen. We are what we are – we don’t expect anyone to consume anything we wouldn’t put in our own bodies. No one should have to wonder what’s in their bottle of wine.

Although Jensen began growing organically in 2006, he eventually saw the benefit of official certification as a way to reinforce his winery’s commitment to health and transparency. Our goal is to be as transparent as possible about what goes into the production of our wines, and it has become increasingly clear that CCOF certification makes that easier, he said.

CCOF is accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is recognized as the premier organic certification body in North America. The certification process at Booker began early last year when Jensen hired winemaker Taylor Mathisen to lead the certification process. Mathisen spent the last 12 months making sure Booker met all the criteria and requirements to be certified.

If we started from scratch, it would be very difficult, Mathiesen said. But because Booker has been farming organically for many years, everything went well.

The CCOF certification is a confirmation of Booker’s years of practice. The use of chemical poisons, pesticides, herbicides or fungicides is prohibited on Booker’s property. All soil additives are certified organic and come from natural sources. Weeds are controlled with mechanical and manual means. Oil-based sprays to control insects such as leafhoppers are derived from natural sources such as vegetables and minerals. Booker also uses biodynamic methods to stay in harmony with the environment and its natural cycles, and the vineyard and winery are powered by solar energy.

The wines produced at Booker Manor have been repeatedly recognized as some of the best in California. And when Jensen sources fruit from other West Paso Robles growers for his My Favorite Neighbor and Harvey and Harriet brands, he demands the same level of organic responsibility. Whether it’s our $98 Fracture Syrah or $30 Harvey & Harriet, the fruit meets organic standards, Jensen said. Our production partners know the rules: no chemicals near our sites.

Jensen passionately explains how organic farming requires constant attention and presence in the vineyard. It’s much easier and cheaper to go there and drop a nuclear bomb, but I’d rather be where the earth is comfortable, he said.

He added: For every problem there is an organic solution. It takes more work and thought to find it, but it makes you a better farmer and steward of the land.

Booker Vineyard & Winery, founded in 2005 by owner and winemaker Eric Jensen, specializes in premium wines from its 60-acre organic vineyard west of Paso Robles. Booker’s wines have been repeatedly recognized as some of the best in California. In 2021, Booker opened a state-of-the-art visitor center with underground wine caves and an outdoor tasting room that doubles as a vineyard. Booker also produces wines under two sister brands, My Favorite Neighbor and Harvey & Harriet. The winery and vineyard are powered by solar energy. Visit BookerWines.com and MyFavoriteNeighbor.com.

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