The Brander is committed to maintaining environmentally sustainable viticulture and winemaking. We assiduously follow organic and biodynamic principles, both in the vineyard and in the cellar. We strive for our methods to be environmentally sound, economically feasible, and socially equitable whenever possible.
We understand that the health of our grapevines, like that of any plant, is based in their immediate environment, and we aspire to grow grapes which reflect our unique terroir.
“Terroir” is a French word which captures the special character that the geology, climate, and geography of a particular location express in wine. More simply, it may be described as a “sense of place.” We feel that the Los Olivos area is among the very best wine-growing regions in the world for the production of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, and we want to preserve as much of this specific terroir as we can, so that it may shine through in our wines.
In terms of our everyday practices, this means that we employ zero artificial or petroleum-based additives, utilize the biodynamic calendar ( which recommends performing planting, canopy management, harvesting, and other vineyard tasks according to “leaf days”, “fruit days”, “root days” and “flower days”, which are based on the position of the moon and the planets ) as often as is practicable.
While we are not yet officially certified for either organic or biodynamic status, Brander has been employing organic and biodynamic protocols for several years. We are firm in our belief that gently working with the delicate ecosystems already present here on our vineyard, rather than against them, allows us to create greater natural balance and health in the vineyard, and, by extension, in our wines.
In the long tradition of many classic European vineyards, we encourage biodiversity. Our estate has a wide range of fruit trees, olive trees, and California native shrubs and trees. We sow organic, nitrogen-fixing “cover crop” (the grains and legumes which sprout between the rows of grapevines in the spring, enriching the soil and allowing us to use less organic fertilizer), and return the pressed grape skins and seeds to the vineyard. This returns many of the nutrients back to the land, completing the cycle and enriching the earth in which we grow our grapes- the grapes which go into every bottle of our estate Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. We believe that the extra effort that we put into operating sustainably is reflected in our finished wines, and we also believe that you will notice and appreciate the difference in quality, in our wines as well as in the “feel” of our estate.