The rest of this site is where you learn about how we grow our grapes and make our wines, and why we make the choices we do. But there’s so much more to Bonterra.
Bonterra is a quest, it’s a statement, it’s a way of life. Here’s where we’ll explore those intangibles beyond the facts … and cook up some great meals to go with the wines. So pour yourself a glass, dig in and enjoy.
All the best,
Lia Huber Bonterra’s Chef & Organic Life Aficionado
Mom's Pear Pie
I grew up in Lake County, where Bartlett pears were renowned. My mom would always bake several of these pies—with perfectly ripe pears—at harvest time and freeze them for the winter holidays. Because the pie is all about the floral beauty of the pears (with no added spice) it is a knockout with our Bonterra Muscat … which also happens to come from Lake County! (From Bob Blue, Bonterra's Founding Winemaker)
This “recipe” isn’t really a recipe, but more of a way to show off a really good piece of meat – it’s a good time to splurge on locally-raised, grass fed. It’s an impressive cut that’s perfect for the holiday table, and goes really well with our Butler blend. (Jeff Cichocki, Bonterra Winemaker)
My sister and I ad lib on this recipe quite a bit, adding brandy, orange zest, etc. I once swirled some creamy peanut butter into the baking dish and my wife, Amy, and our boys loved it. If you’re going to open a bottle of wine to sip with this fudge, open the Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon. (From Dave Koball, Bonterra's Vineyard Director)
This slow cooked lamb may sound exotic, but the flavors actually remind me of Bonterra’s home in Mendocino County … fragrant coriander and fennel run wild on the hills here, and fig, lemon and apricot trees dot the landscape. It’s a lot like the terroir captured in the Bonterra Zinfandel, actually!
A “paillard” is a cut of meat that’s pounded flat so it can be cooked quickly. The bonus of pounding chicken breasts into paillards is two-fold: They cook more evenly and they soak up marinade all the way through.
Having a good white bean recipe under your belt is awesome … they’re terrific as a side with just about anything from roast chicken to braised beef. But they’re also great in salads and soups and spreads. I like drizzling them with some good olive oil and sea salt and nibbling them solo for happy hour with a glass of Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc.
When you’ve got stock in the pantry and Sage and Lemon Cannellini Beans in the fridge (or freezer), this soup comes together in a flash. The bitterness of the escarole is a wonderful foil for the Bonterra Riesling.
Ask local farmers if they have bruised or overripe veggies they’ll sell you for a discount. They’ll be perfect for this sauce! Serve tossed with spaghetti, ladled over eggplant parmesan or even as a bruschetta topping … just have a bottle of Bonterra Merlot nearby
This recipe can really act as a template for any leftover mashed or roasted vegetables you might have on hand. This combo of rutabaga and turnip is one of my favorites, though. Serve with a bitter green salad and Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc.
I love chocolate chip cookies. But I don’t love how I feel after eating them … the hit of refined flour and sugar leave my mouth feeling coated and me feeling depleted after a sugar rush. These, however, are different. Whole wheat pastry flour, a bit of oats and pumpkin add all kinds of goodness, and they use about a quarter of the butter found in regular cookies. So how do they taste? So good you’ll be tempted to polish off a half dozen in one sitting … if you do, be sure to have a glass of Bonterra Pinot Noir to wash them down.
Frisee and Pear Salad with Blue Cheese and Walnuts
This is an elegant salad to start off a family gathering, to be sure. But it also makes a terrific light meal in and of itself. Feel free to add cubed beets or roasted vegetables or even a scoop of cooked quinoa if you’re going the main course route. Pair with the Bonterra Chardonnay.
This squash soup is the epitome of fall. Colorful, rich, shot through with warm spices. Roasting the squash, shallot and pear add depth of flavor, and caramelized diced pear adds both visual interest and a complex sweet note. Enjoy with the Bonterra Chardonnay.
Chex mix was our go to snack for any large get together when I was a kid. But as I grew on my NOURISH evolution, I became less and less psyched about all the ingredients on the list that I couldn’t pronounce. So I decided to make my own. This party mix has all kinds of stuff you can feel good about, including serious crunch and a lingering, spicy punch. Sip the Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc as you munch.
Kale chips are all the rage now, and I can see why—they’re crazy easy, and so crisp they almost shatter when you bite into them (potato chips have nothing on these kale chips). These are coated with a spicy mix just right for munching on during a game. You could go white—with a Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc—or red, with a Bonterra Merlot. It depends on which team you lean towards …
I was introduced to this dish when I lived on the Greek island of Corfu, but I've added a little spin of sweet potato; I like how it brings a nice heft and sweetness that plays with the spice, and lets me cut down quite a bit on the amount of meat I use. Amazing with the Bonterra Zin.
I love rich ragus, but I’m not super fond of eating gargantuan amounts of meat. Which is why I love this Short Rib and Mushroom Ragu. The porcini gives it incredible depth and the long, slow braise makes it downright luscious … all with about half the meat you’re used to. Terrific with the Bonterra Merlot.
What is a panade? I like to think of it as “good stuff tossed with stale bread and broth and cooked until it’s rich and silky.” This combo is great during the holidays, but think of it more as a template than a strict formula. This one goes especially well with the Bonterra Chardonnay.
This dish is a showstopper, both on the plate (the pepitas are gorgeous!) and on the palate. The Sauvignon Blanc lends a nice, acidic balance … but I have to admit to going back to the Chardonnay with this one. Something about the creaminess of the squash with the bright, lush flavors of the Chardonnay sang to me.
Seared Halibut with Tomatoes, Olives and Crispy Cauliflower
This dish marries a fresh “salsa cruda” of cherry tomatoes, olives, parsley and lemon zest with cauliflower that’s crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside. I love how the Sauvignon Blanc meets the high acidic notes and makes a clean cut through the richness of the cauliflower and halibut.
I think of Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon as a bottle I want to open with a casual steak, not an over the top fillet mignon. This deconstructed hash fits the bill perfectly; tender, spicy skirt steak sitting atop a colorful medley of caramelized veggies.
These beans are based on the Santa Maria style beans from California’s Central Coast. They’re terrific with our Barbecued Beef Ribs … or even with hamburgers. Open a bottle of Bonterra Merlot with these.
These sandwiches are like a Nicoise salad on bread. They’re great for picnics; the longer they sit, the better they get. This particular recipe was inspired by the sandwiches Selina Luis brought with us when we visited Magruder Ranch. Serve with Bonterra Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc.
Giardiniera is an Italian staple; a colorful medley of pickled vegetables marinated with oil, vinegar and spices. It makes terrific picnic fare and is quite versatile depending on what’s popping at the farmers market. Nibble with a glass of Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc or Merlot.
Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone Cream and Toasted Pecans
Peaches and cream get even sweeter—literally—when they play with fire. The heat plays up the natural sweetness in the peaches, and the mascarpone plays a rich, creamy counterpoint. Beautiful with Bonterra’s Viognier.
Grilling cherry tomatoes in parchment is like giving them a garlicky steam bath with the added benefit of smoky caramelization. Toss these with pasta, use them to top bruschetta, or spoon onto a plate beside our Grilled Chicken on a Wine Bottle (Sort Of). Gorgeous with the Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc.
Ember-Roasted Beets with Charred-Chive Crème Fraiche
Roasting beets in the embers of a fire imbues them with an earthy, smoky flavor. Incorporating some of the resulting char—all the rage with chefs these days—adds a mercurial depth to the dip, and the minerality plays beautifully with the Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc. For a simple, stunning hors d’oeuvre, cut the beets into bite-sized cubes and serve beside the dip with toothpicks.
Grilled Whole Trout Stuffed with Lemon and Parsley
Don’t let the idea of a whole fish intimidate you—this dish is actually easy enough for a casual dinner party (serve the Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc!). The skin and bones keep the fish super moist, and the lemon and parsley infuse it with a lovely, subtle flavor. A super simple Salsa Verde adds punch both visually and on the palette.
Rosemary Shrimp Skewers with Grilled Pineapple-Avocado Salsa
Grilling on rosemary sprigs infuses shrimp with flavor from the inside out, and makes for a gorgeous presentation. Grilling the pineapple and avocado for the salsa imbues both with a subtle smoky sweetness. Great with the Bonterra Viognier.
These little banana boats are over the top. Succulent and creamy from the heat of the grill, and oozing with melted chocolate and butterscotch, they’re topped with ice cream, homemade whipped cream, chocolate sauce and toasted almonds. A decadent end to the meal. Pair with Bonterra Viognier.
Mangoes and ginger have a thing for each other. Here, the natural sweetness of the mango is enhanced by the heat of the grill, and its ginger tones are echoed in nuggets of crystallized ginger in the ice cream. If a dessert could scream, this one would for Bonterra Viognier.
Eggs are amazing when they’re cooked low and slow, turning creamy and luscious and succulent. This frittata works both warm and at room temp, and makes a great appetizer, brunch, dinner … or picnic dish. Enjoy with our Sauvignon Blanc or Viognier.
Crostini with Soft Scrambled Eggs, Avocado and Sriracha
I’ve lately been encountering all sorts of deviled egg variations, and the one I like the most involves the spicy Thai condiment sriracha. I took that whole concept for a spin by smearing toasted bread with avocado, topping it with soft scrambled eggs and finishing with a drizzle of sriracha. Pair it with our Sauvignon Blanc.
Brunch-Worthy Baked Eggs in Proscuitto Cups with Wild Mushrooms
I’ve always admired eggs that were tucked pristinely into their own little tasty container; little did I know how easy they were to make. These get an extra punch of flavor from a bed of sautéed wild mushrooms that also serves to bridge the gap between red and white. They go equally well with a glass of Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.
This dish hearkens back to when brunches were an affair to be celebrated, but it would make an elegant start to a dinner party too. There’s an ample amount of acidity between the vinegar, mustard, capers and pickles, which the Sauvignon Blanc stand up to superbly.
This is one of my favorite side dishes year round. In the winter, I use a wok inside. In summer, I cook it outside in a grill basket. Although it's a veggie dish, the flavors stand up well to the spice of the Bonterra Zin.