Sunday, May 6: Biodynamic Producer Day - FEATURED SPEAKERS


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

 Ann is a biologist who has spoken widely on the microbiome

• David is Professor of Earth & Space Sciences at the University of Washington and author of Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations and Growing a Revolution


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

• Has published extensively in 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


• Elizabeth Candelario, President, Demeter USA

Opening Remarks


• Paul Dolan, Chairman, Board of Directors, Demeter USA

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


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

• John Reganold, Ph.D., Professor, Soil Science & Agorecology, Washington State University
 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 Biodynamic Marketplace: Trends and Opportunities


Business and Marketing Panel

Biodynamic products are on their way to becoming the next big wave in natural foods and are expected to increase consumer awareness of the Biodynamic category. What does this mean for Biodynamic wine? And what market signals now show that interest in Biodynamic wine is growing? Experts will provide insights into trends and opportunities.


• Monty Waldin, international Biodynamic wine expert

• Elizabeth Candelario, President, Demeter USA
• Mark Cuff, President, The Living Vine

• Jason Haas, Partner and General Manager, Tablas Creek 

• Cristian Rodriguez, CEO, Emiliana Organic Vineyards

• Laura DePasquale, Master Sommelier; General Manager, Artisanal Fine Wine & Spirits Division, Southern Wine & Spirits

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

• Additional panelists (to be announced)

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

• Additional panelists (to be announced)

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

• Laura DePasquale, Master Sommelier; Vice President and General Manager, Artisanal Fine Wine Division, Southern Wine & Spirits

• Emily Johnston, Advanced Sommelier 

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.

• Moderator:
Monty Waldin, international Biodynamic wine expert


• Alex Davis, Porter Creek Vineyards (Burgundian varietals)

• Bob Lindquist, Qupé (Rhone varietals)

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

• Additional panelists (to be announced)

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


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

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)

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

• Additional panelist (to be announced) 

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


August York, Manager, Intuit Ag 

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

• Invited: Will Brinton, Woods End Laboratories

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)

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)

 Julian Malone, Director of Vineyard Opertions, Sea Smoke Estate Vineyards (165 acre vineyard)

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

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

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

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