October is International Merlot Month thanks to MerlotMe.com!
This is the final review of International Merlot Month and I'm gonna start it off with a spoiler: this is a review for one of my most favorite wines ever. The combination of being both affordable and phenomenal make Benziger Merlot possibly my top suggested wine as wine manager of the Dennisport Lukes of Cape Cod. So now that you know how this ends, let's get to the other stuff.
Benziger is certified sustainable and uses biodynamic farming in their vineyards. Basically, biodynamic creates its own fully functioning ecosystem within the vineyard. They bring in specific flowers that attract the good bugs that fight off the bad bugs, thus eliminating the use of pesticides. They make their own fertilizer, use grazing animals to trim the soil cover crops, and etc. There's some really weird stuff that comes with biodynamic farming too, such as burying manure inside a cow horn, and having root days, fruit days, leaf days, and flower days dictate how, when, or if you're going to do certain things.
I'll never forget what Chris Benziger told me when I met him: "It sounds crazy. I still think it's crazy. But all I care about is that it works and it does." He would know. The winery took an enormous gamble in the 1990's when they shut down operations for the better part of a decade to convert their vineyards over to biodynamic, and since then their wines have been far better than they've ever been.