Our Farming Practices

Dr. Rudolf Steiner

We’re Demeter certified biodynamic® in our growing practices, and Stellar certified organic, meaning that we understand the intricate connection between growing premium grapes and making great wines. That is why we are committed to meticulous vineyard management practices, highlighted by our biodynamic® farming methods.

Biodynamic® farming began in the early 1920’s. A group of practicing farmers, concerned with the decline of the soil, sought the advice of Dr. Rudolf Steiner, who had spent all his life researching and investigating the forces that regulate life and growth. From a series of lectures and conversations held in June 1924, emerged the fundamental principles of biodynamic® farming, a unified approach to agriculture that relates the ecology of the earth-organism to that of the entire cosmos. This approach has been under development in many parts of the world ever since.

Biodynamic® farming focuses on the entire farm as one living organism. According to pioneers of biodynamic® farming, the maintenance and development of the microbial life of the soil is a basic necessity if it is to be preserved for our future generations. We see our vineyard as an individual organism that will eventually showcase its own identity through the fruit it develops. Biodynamic® farming combines the knowledge of premium viticultural practices with an understanding on how to treat the vineyard and its surrounding areas in order to achieve desired long-term farming results.

Growth Cycle

At Johan Vineyards, we carefully manage the vines at each step of the growth cycle. Summarized below is the yearly cycle of our vineyards and some of the methods and applications we use to insure healthy vine growth.

November – March:  Dormancy01_dormancy

Vineyard practice: Pruning




April – May:  Bud-break02_bud-break

Vineyard practice: Frost Protection




May – June:  Shoot growth03-shoot-growth

Vineyard practice: shoot thinning and sucker removal canopy management




Early June:  Bloom04_bloom

Vineyard practice: leaf sampling for nutrient assessment of the vine




Late June: Fruit setScreen Shot 2015-06-23 at 9.31.13 AM

Vineyard practice: leaf removal around fruit, canopy management



July – August:  Lag phase06_lag-phase

When the vine shifts from a vegetative stage to a fruiting stage noted by seed hardening and slow growth to the shoot tips.

Vineyard practice: hedging shoot tip removal (giving the vines a “hair cut”)

August:  07_verasionVéraison

When the grapes start to soften and change color.

Vineyard practice: crop thinning to adjust crop levels to ensure balanced vines

September — October:  08_harvestHarvest

Vineyard practice: pick grapes




November: Post Harvest fertilization

Vineyard practice: apply compost

Our compost pile.
Our compost pile.