Joseph Brinkley - Director of Vineyards at Bonterra Organic Vineyards

Joseph Brinkley - Director of Vineyards at Bonterra Organic Vineyards

Joseph’s contributions and 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 Biodynamically farmed grapes. “Bonterra has been farming organically for more than thirty years and Biodynamically for more than twenty, and it’s an honor to steward this next chapter,” says Joseph. In addition to his work at Bonterra, Joseph sits on the Board of Directors of the Josephine Porter Institute.

Joseph Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Organic, regenerative, biodynamic and sustainable farming

  • Benefits of organic and regenerative farming vs conventional

  • Climate change impacts on California vineyards

  • 30 years of organic farming at Bonterra Vineyards

  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Joseph's Final Five Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

Look outside wherever your focus may be. I got into wine through biodynamics. When I came to Napa to start 12, 13 years ago, I knew nothing about wine or vineyards, but it was what I knew out of composting and out of soil and biodynamics that really has helped me. So I think there's a lot for us to learn as we kind of expand our view and look at other systems and how they work, to kind of open the view up a little bit larger.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainable farming and organic farming?

I was going to say the youth, but honestly the youth always has this energy and idealism, which is beautiful, but at the same time you see that in the older generations as well. We are all starting to come together with how we can make the world a better place and how we can do that, how we can reduce our negative impact and increase our positive impact, and how we can come together from different worlds and different areas of expertise. Because we all see that there's a really great need right now.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability leaders read?

Man or Matter. It is about the man as both material and spiritual being.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

I think for me, just having eyes to observe. Observing growth, observing life, observing how plants interact, how animals interact. There's so much to be read in the world of nature. If we take the time to really look and see. It was funny, I was walking through the vineyard the other day with my wife and I just looked up into the field and I pointed out like three or four things, and she looks at me and she's like, "How did you see that?" I was like, "Well, that's what I see, you know." But, there's a lot to learn out there if we just take a moment to look.

Finally, where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work you're leading at Bonterra?

I would start with the website