Neal Family Vineyards, a Howell Mountain estate winery, has gained Regenerative Organic Certification as recognized by the Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA).

Wine Industry Advisor reported that only five vineyard estates hold the certification worldwide. Neal Family Vineyards now represents the first vineyard in Napa Valley to receive this award. The ROA is also considered the highest level of certification.

Vintner, founder, and owner Mark Neal expressed his excitement for the award. “ROA was founded to address climate change, soil degradation, biodiversity loss, factory farming and fractured rural communities globally,” he said. “This new certification goes farther than any other organic certification — including CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) — by requiring specific farming practices that build soil health, ensure fairness to farmers and farm workers, and improve animal welfare.”

Organic Practices All the Way

As travelers start to support more sustainable practices, awards like this become more important. Neal is considered one of Napa’s earliest organic and biodynamic pioneers. It’s also thought that the valley would not be where it is today without his early advocacy for organic farming.

In order to become Regenerative Organic Certified, companies must first hold a National Organic Program certification. They must also prove soil health practices, social fairness, and animal welfare.

Since its foundation in 1998, Neal Family Vineyards has maintained its status as a leader in educating and demonstrating the organic practices in Napa Valley. Each of the winery’s four estate vineyards have been certified organic by CCOF since 2009 and certified biodynamic by Demeter Biodynamic since 2021.

The vineyard itself is family owned and operated. They specialize in Cabernet Sauvignon and believe great wines come best from organic and biodynamic practices.

Outside of the Neal Family Vineyards, Mark also owns and operated Jack Neal & Son, the largest biodynamic farming operation in the United States.

What do you think of Neal Family Vineyards becoming Regenerative Organic Certified? Have you had their wines before? Do you prefer biodynamic farming? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments!