Neal Family Vineyards Achieves Regenerative Organic Certification

Neal Family Vineyards in Howell Mountain has achieved Regenerative Organic Certification, representing the first vineyard in Napa Valley and the fifth in the world to achieve this status.

Mark and Laura Neal. Credit: Jimmy Hayes

Biodynamic winemaker Mark Neal has achieved certification for his Napa Valley Estate, as recognized by the Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA). ROA was founded by US outdoor apparel retailer Patagonia in 2018, along with organic soap company Dr. Bronner’s and a group of farmers and soil experts.

Before a business can apply to become certified regenerative organic, it must first hold certification from the national organic program. After that, they are asked to demonstrate soil health practices, such as minimal or no tillage, cover cropping, and crop rotation; social equity in the form of decent wages and healthy working conditions for employees; and animal welfare with pasture-based grazing.

Neal first achieved organic certification in 1984, but said “being the first in Napa Valley to earn the Regenerative Organic Certified seal of approval is always an exciting achievement for us because of what it represented”.

He explained: “ROA was founded to address climate change, land degradation, biodiversity loss, industrial agriculture and fractured rural communities globally. Regenerative organic agriculture is a set of practices focused on regenerating soil health and the entire agricultural ecosystem.

“This new certification goes further than any other organic certification – including CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) – by requiring specific farming practices that build soil health, ensure fairness for farmers and farm workers, and improve the We have always used exclusively organic and biodynamic practices in our vineyards, and this certification further cements that commitment to the land and our community.

Argentinian wine producer and exporter Domaine Bousquet achieved regenerative organic certification status in June 2022, becoming the fourth company to do so and the first outside the United States. Learn more here.

Elisha A. Tilghman