Discover Future Wines
Today is Day 3 of our 12 Days of Wine Celebration! This year, we are focusing on Discovering Wines for the Future. These are wineries and vineyards that are doing the work, in their own way, to be sure we have a long, healthy future on our planet in which to enjoy wine!
These vineyards are farming the soil, creating healthy environments with biodynamic and regenerative methods. This generates biodiversity, sequesters carbon, and, in turn, makes delicious wine.
Many of these vineyards and wineries will be on the West Coast of the US, but we’ve included a few from Italy and one from Argentina. There are many more out there, and we encourage you to seek them out! But we will get you started with a few of our favorites!
Grab a glass and celebrate with us!
(Scroll to the bottom for our video!)
Beckmen Vineyards & Steve Beckmen
Steve Beckmen founded Beckmen Vineyards with his parents, Tom and Judith, in 1994. Steve grew up in LA and studied anthropology and archaeology at UC Santa Cruz.
He graduated and traveled, working on archaeological digs, then worked for a bit with his father for Roland Corporation, which his parents had co-founded. (sidebar…anyone in the music industry is likely familiar with Roland keyboards. During my time in the entertainment industry, I have helped set up more than a few in Orchestra pits)
His parents sold their stake in Roland in 1993 and searched with Steve for a property to start a vineyard.
In 2016, Steve’s brother Jeff joined them to help with national sales. So, it is a family business with the Beckmen men.
The Ballard Canyon and Los Olivos District AVAs of California’s Santa Barbara County.
Santa Barbara County is not too far north of LA. The Santa Ynez Valley AVA is the Southern portion of the region and contains 4 nested AVAs: Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District, and Happy Canyon. If you begin in the west in Sta. Rita Hills and drive east to Happy Canyon. The temperature will increase by a degree Fahrenheit for each mile you drive.
The two central AVAs are Ballard Canyon and the Los Olivos District (sitting just east of Ballard Canyon and not listed on this map.) This is where you will find the two Beckmen Vineyards. The Purisima Mountain Vineyard, located in the Ballard Canyon AVA, is certified Biodynamic.
Why are the wines of Beckmen Vineyards the wines of the future?
Steve had a friend from college who had a backyard garden. He was using biodynamic agriculture methods and was seeing tremendous results. Later when visited the Rhone Valley, Steve met Philippe Armenier, a well-known proponent of Biodynamic Viticulture. Philippe came to Beckmen to consult as they explored biodynamics.
They tested the methods on a single block, the Block 6 Syrah, the results were undeniable.
How are they making the future better?
At Purisima Mountain, they employ biodynamic preparations and leave areas uncultivated to add biodiversity. The vineyard is dotted with Coastal Oaks.
To increase their biodiversity, they added a pond to the property. This brings in an additional variety of animals and plants that otherwise would not have found their way to the property.
They have a vegetable garden for the family and staff. Steve also has a small herd of cows. They graze the vineyard in the off-season and provide some of the manure they need for the preparations.
The idea behind biodynamics is to use plant-based remedies rather than poisons. They listen to the land and the plants and work harmoniously with nature. They work the land in as much a “closed system” as possible. In this way, you look at the property as having everything it needs to thrive naturally.
Wine you should be trying in the future!
The Block 6 Syrah is a wine you should spoil yourself with. The Grenache rose from Purisima Mountain is delicious, but what took me by surprise was the Purisima Mountain 2021 Chardonnay. I’m not typically a Chardonnay lover, but this one was delicious, and we left with a bottle of this stunner.
You can visit the Beckmen Website for more details on the wines, vineyards, and their blog
You’ll find the overview of our latest visit with Steve in our article on Can Wine Save the Planet?
We have a series of videos and articles posted on Crushed Grape Chronicles from way back in 2014 and our visit then.
Beckmen Vineyards is one of the vineyards we will be featuring in our Documentary “Can Wine Save the Planet?” We look forward to spending time with them over the next year to see their practices in action and share with you their story.
I look forward to visiting in the spring when the properties are coming to life or perhaps even before then when the small herd of cattle is grazing in the vineyards.
You can follow the project at CanWineSavethePlanet.com where we will have plenty of extras with in-depth interviews and educational videos on these farming methods. You can only fit so much in a documentary, and there is so much to tell! We don’t want you to miss anything! Head over there and follow us for great content as we are filming!
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine and WSET 3 Certified. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.
Check out our book series, “Tempting Spoonfuls” available through Amazon!
Inspired by the flavors and aromas in wines, these books create “tempting spoonfuls” of flavors to pair with wines.
“Tempting Spoonfuls – Pairing single bites with glorious wines” – Our first book paired wines from boutique wineries on the west coast, in California, Oregon, and Washington, with delicious spoonfuls.
This book is 60 pages, 18 recipes, lots of beautiful photos, and insights into some fantastic small wineries!
“Tempting Spoonfuls – small bites paired with wines from around the Globe” – This book takes us around the globe to explore 12 wine regions, a wine from the region, and then gives you a recipe for a pairing!
A slightly larger book at 104 pages, this time you learn about pairing with a type of wine from a region. Rather than a specific bottle, you can look for a style of wine from a region and feel confident that it will go well with the recipe pairing we provide. We give you 12 recipes, each to pair with a wine.
The goal is to make your mouth water and encourage you to create your own “Tempting Spoonfuls.”