Sunday, May 6: Biodynamic Producer Day - FEATURED SPEAKERS



• Co-authors, The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health

Anne Biklé

• Author and biologist 

David Montgomery

• Professor of Earth & Space Sciences, University of Washington
• Author of Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations and Growing a Revolution

• MacArthur Fellow



• Ph.D., Regents Professor of Soil Science and Agroecology at Washington State University

• Researcher and author whose work is featured in many scientific journals, magazines, and books, including Science, Nature, and Scientific American

• Conducted peer-reviewed, published research on Biodynamic compost and preps



• International Biodynamic wine expert

• Author, Monty Waldin's Best Biodynamic Wines, Biodynamic Wine, more

• Host, The Italian Wine Podcast

• Decanter World Wine Awards Judge for Tuscany


This daylong educational event is designed for Biodynamic growers, winemakers, and vintners. Morning General Sessions and afternoon breakouts cover:

• Biodynamic viticulture: soil and the microbiome, Biodynamic preps, compost and compost teas, scaling up, tips from experts, and more

• Biodynamic winemaking: making Demeter certified wines, minimizing inputs, and more 

• Marketing and business topics specifically addressing the needs of  Biodynamic producers: the growing Biodynamic food and wine marketplace, insiders' views on market trends, and more

• International trade and distribution networking: connect with distributors seeking producers to represent, learn about Demeter trader certification and import requirements

We expect this event to sell out; early registration is encouraged.

Summary - Scroll Down for Complete Program Details Below

GENERAL SESSIONS - Ventana room - 8:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Registration and Welcome




• Elizabeth Candelario, President, Demeter USA

Opening Remarks


 Paul Dolan, Chairman, Board of Directors, Demeter USA

Woody Tasch, author of Soil 2017

Soil and the Microbiome, Part 1: New Insights


Keynote Address

Scientists and authors Anne Biklé and David Montgomery will give a presentation on soil and the microbiome based on their bestselling book, The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health and related research.

• Anne Biklé, biologist, author, The Hidden Half of Nature

 David Montgomery, Professor, Earth & Space Sciences, University of Washington

Author, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations, The Hidden Half of Nature, and Growing a Revolution, MacArthur Fellow

Soil and the Microbiome, Part 2: Biodynamic Researchers' Science Panel


Science Panel

The topic of soil and the microbiome expands into a panel discussion with top scientists examining Biodynamic as a leading edge farming system. 

• Glenn McGourty, M.S., U.C. Farm Advisor; Board of Directors, Demeter USA

Presentation Slides

John Reganold, Ph.D., Professor, Soil Science & Agorecology, Washington State University


Monty Waldin, international Biodynamic wine expert


• Anne Biklé, biologist, author, The Hidden Half of Nature
 David Montgomery, Ph.D., Professor, Earth & Space Sciences, University of Washington: Author, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations, The Hidden Half of Nature, and Growing a Revolution, MacArthur Fellow

Morning Break


The Business of Being Biodynamic: Producers’ Stories


Winery Panel

Biodynamic viticulture is fundamental to success in making great wine. But what are the impacts of being a Biodynamic producer on running a winery and a business? For some, farming costs are lower; for others, higher. Do improvements in wine quality translate into value for the business? Learn from producers who have stories to tell about their experiences. 


 Monty Waldin, international Biodynamic wine expert


Mike Benziger, Glentucky Family Farm, formerly President, Benziger Family Winery

• Jason Haas, Partner and General Manager, Tablas Creek 

• Rudy Marchesi, Proprietor, Montinore Estate

• Cristian Rodriguez, CEO, Emiliana Organic Vineyards

Followed by... A Brief Reading

Woody Tasch, author of SOIL: Notes Towards the Theory and Practice of Nurture Capital

LUNCH - 1:00-2:00 PM

Box lunches will be provided.


New Thinking About the Biodynamic Preps

Viticulture Session (Ventana Room)

Leading Biodynamic prepmakers are exploring the frontiers of prepmaking, experimenting with everything from bison manure to amethyst. Get their insights on traditional and innovative approaches.


 Mike Benziger, Glentucky Family Farm; formerly President, Benziger Family Winery


• Matias Baker, Biodynamic Prepmaker

• Joseph Brinkley, Vineyard Manager, Bonterra Organic Vineyards
• Brook Le Van, Sustainable Settings and Biodynamic Source

Through a Biodynamic Lens: Managing Disease, Pest and Weed Control in the Vineyard

Viticulture Session (Cyprus Room)

Learn how leading experts approach disease, pests and weed control with a variety of Biodynamic solutions.


Glenn McGourty, M.S., U.C. Farm Advisor; Board of Directors, Demeter USA


• Daphne Amory, Biodynamic vineyard consultant; Board President, Biodynamic Association

• Corinne Comme, Biodynamic vineyard consultant in California and Bordeaux (France)
• Dave Koball, Noble Vineyard Management; former vineyard director, Fetzer-Bonterra

• Monty Waldin, international Biodynamic wine expert

Know Your Buyer (and Your Seller): Biodynamic Wine in the Marketplace

Marketing Session (Hawthorn Room)

A recent consumer poll from the Sonoma State University's Wine Business Program found respondents preferring Biodynamic to organically grown wines. The two together outranked wines branded as "sustainable." In this session, wine buyers, distributors and retailers discuss growing consumer awareness and the latest trends in marketing and selling Biodynamic wines. 


 Pam Strayer, Biodynamic wine expert


Matteo Acmé, Sales Manager, Chakana

• Mark Cuff, President, The Living Vine

• Emily Johnston, Advanced Sommelier 

• Gwendolyn Osborn, Director of Education and Recommendations,

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Making Demeter Certified Wines: The How and the Why

Winemaking Session: Small Group Discussion (Prince Room)

What are the Demeter USA certified wine standards? And what does it take to meet those standards? This panel will cover sulfite levels, cellar practices, organic yeast versus native ferments, and more. Leading winemakers (with decades of experience) are on hand to answer your questions in this intimate winemaker-to-winemaker session.

• Elizabeth Candelario, President, Demeter USA


• Alex Davis, Porter Creek Vineyards (Burgundian varietals)

• Bob Lindquist, Qupé (Rhone varietals)

• Dan Rinke, Johan Vineyards (Alsatian and Burgundian varietals, PetNat)

Chris Williams, Brooks (Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley)

• Demeter Biodynamic and USDA Organic Winemaking Standards: At a Glance

Demeter USA Wine Processing Standard (Page 45)

Farming with Spirit

Interactive Discussion (Woodbridge Room)

Biodynamic farming is not only a practical and regenerative approach to agriculture - it also offers a way to integrate scientific understanding  with a recognition of spirit in nature and a path of personal development for the farmer. 

In this small group interactive discussion, we will explore the spiritual dimension of Biodynamic viticulture and how it shows up for each of us in our work with the land.

Discussion Leader:
• Thea Maria Carlson, Executive Director, Biodynamic Association

Afternoon Break - 3:30-3:45 PM


New Research on Terroir and the Microbiome

Science Panel (Ventana Room)

Scientists are discovering the myriad ways the microbiome influences grapes and wine and the importance of microbial biodiversity. How does that relate to Biodynamic viticulture? And how can winegrowers learn more about microbial influences? Hear from leading scientists and experts in the field.


Glenn McGourty, M.S., U.C. Farm Advisor; Board of Directors, Demeter USA


John Buechenstein, winemaker and wine educator; Faculty, U. C. Davis Extension and Culinary Institute of America; Author, Wine and Place: The Terroir Reader (U.C. Press)

• Neil Collins, Winemaker, Tablas Creek

 Lucy Joseph, M.S., Curator, Department of Viticulture and Enology Culture Collection, U.C. Davis (Research Gate link)

Compost, Compost Teas, and Carbon Farming

Viticulture Session (Cypress Room)

Compost - it's one of the keys to soil fertility. This dynamic panel will focus on best approaches to compost and compost teas. 


Paul Dolan, Board Chair, Demeter USA


• Will Bakx, M.S., Soil Scientist and Owner, Sonoma Compost Company

• Andrew Beedy, Organic and Biodynamic Ag Consultant

• Colum Riley, Founder, Malibu Compost

August York, Manager, Intuit Ag 

The Extra Edge: Vineyard and Biodynamic Practices That Improve Wine Quality

Viticulture Session (Hawthorn Room)

Top tier vineyard experts discuss what  farming and Biodynamic techniques improve wine quality. From dry farming for better flavors to using Biodynamic preps in precision viticulture, leading practitioners share what they have learned from experience. 


• Jeff Dawson, Biodynamic vineyard consultant, formerly with Araujo Estate


• Philippe Coderey, Biodynamic vineyard consultant

Jean-Michel Comme, Estate Manager, Chateau Pontet-Canet (Bordeaux, France)

• Victor Gallegos, VP, Director of Winemaking and General Manager, Sea Smoke Estate Vineyards 

• Alois Clemens Lageder, Proprietor, Alois Lageder (Alto Adige, Italy)

• Additional panelists (to be announced)

Import/Export: Exporting Your Wine to the U.S. Market

International Track (Woodbridge Room)

Resources for foreign wineries who want to import their wine into the U.S. will be available:

• Demeter USA certification staff will be on hand to assist foreign wineries meet certification requirements for importing wines to the U.S. market. 

• U.S. brokers and distributors interested in representing wineries will be at the conference 

• A meeting room is available for trade discussions for conference participants

Scaling Up: Implementing Biodynamic Viticulture on a Large Scale

Viticulture and Business Session (Prince Room)

While the image of Biodynamic vineyards is often associated with a boutique operation, a number of leading wineries are making both table wines and world class fine wines from vineyards ranging from 100 to 600+ acres. Learn about their experiences in growing and making Biodynamic wine at scale.


• Dave Koball, M.S., Director of Viticulture, Noble Vineyard Management; former vineyard director, Fetzer-Bonterra


• Rob Izzo, General Manager, Eco Terreno Wines (100 acre vineyard, Sonoma County, California)

 Julian Malone, Director of Vineyard Operations, Sea Smoke Estate Vineyards (165 acre vineyard, Santa Barbara County, California)

• Rudy Marchesi, President, Montinore Estate (220 acre vineyard, Willamette Valley, Oregon)

• Ray Nuclo, M.S.,Director of Viticulture and Winery Operations, King Estate (465 acre vineyard, Willamette Valley, Oregon)

• Virginie Saverys, Avignonesi (425 acre vineyard, Tuscany, Italy)

 Sebastian Tramon, Sustainability Manager, Emiliana Organic Vineyards (600+ acre vineyard, Chile)