Animals & Gardens

Animals and beneficial gardens play an important part in our Biodynamic® farming techniques. Learn more about how both contribute to healthy vines.

Sheep

Our sheep are not only cute, but they play a vital role in the removal of overgrown cover crop. They replace the need for mowing, disking, and spraying herbicides; they aerate the soil while continuously depositing nutrient-rich fertilizer throughout the vineyard.

Cattle

Our small herd of Scottish Highlander cattle provides more than just organic manure, they bring a certain sense of peace and serenity to the vineyard.

Our Insectary

If you’ve ever taken our Biodynamic Tram Tour, then you have probably experienced our insectary. This is a vital part of our ranch, as it is home to numerous plants and bugs that are critical to the health of our vines. You’ll find a variety of fruits and vegetables growing in the insectary depending on the season. We also grow plants that attract beneficial organisms (bugs) that kill other organisms that are harmful to our vineyards. We also grow Valerian, Camomile and other herbs and teas that can be used in our Biodynamic preparations.

Birds

Birds are important to the vineyard because they naturally prey on smaller animals that can be detrimental to the vines. They also help carry seeds and pollinate our garden.

Olives and Gardens

One of the many crops, (other than wine grapes) that we grow here at Benziger Family Estate is olive trees. Olives often grow well in the same climates and soils as wine grapes, and our home ranch is no exception. We’ve been producing an Estate Biodynamic Olive Oil for the past four years. Our olive oil is made in limited quantities, based on the size of the year’s harvest and can be purchased in our tasting room.