Biodynamic viticulture (grape growing) uses organic farming methods while following Rudolf Steiner’s (1861-1925), the formula of planting and harvesting by astronomical configurations. Sort of like the Farmer’s Almanac but a little more intense.
We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.
It is all about the soil!
by David Proctor
November 3, 2022
Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine Published Weekly
One of the key components of biodynamic farming, besides the astronomical practices, is treating the earth as a “living and receptive organism”.
“The concept behind biodynamics is that everything in the universe is interconnected and gives off a resonance or ‘vibe’.
The interconnectivity of everything even includes celestial bodies like the moon, planets, and stars.
Biodynamic viticulture is the practice of balancing this resonance between vine, man, earth, and stars.
Essentially, biodynamics is a holistic view of agriculture.” (Wine Folly)
One of the strangest practices for preparing to fertilize the fields is to first get a bunch of cow horns and stuff them full of cow manure and bury them.
After a period of time, the horns are dug up and the green manure has changed into a rich fertilizer, thanks to worms and microbes.
Horns Stuffed With Manure
“Stop to think about why a cow horn is used, it goes back to being a symbol of abundance.
The Vikings would drink from horns, the Chinese believe in the concept, which is why the Rhino horn is coveted.
In fact, we believe in the tradition of abundance when we display the cornucopia at Thanksgiving”.
I’m not advocating that we all start burring horns in our yard full of poop, just saying their seems to be a precedence to the practice.
Several other practices are used for controlling or enhancing the biological aspects of the vineyard and that is chamomile (natural antiseptic) and stinging nettles (a natural cleanser) as examples.
The soils when tested, do show a greater disease suppression, a decrease in compaction, and additional organic material versus non-organic soils.
The biodynamic practice follows a calendar that has four basic parts:
- Fruit Days: Best days for harvesting grapes
- Root Days: Ideal days for pruning
- Flower Days: Leave the vineyard alone on these days
- Leaf Days: Ideal days for watering plants
Besides the calendar, no chemicals or manufactured additions are allowed in the wine, like commercial yeast or adjusting the acidity.
Does the wine taste different?
According to some, it does.
The wine is supposed to enhance or have better expressions of terroir or character.
Some say that the wine stays drinkable longer than other wines and has a more noted stronger yet clearer taste which is also more vibrant.
How do you know when you buy wine if it is biodynamic?
Biodynamic is not a defined and regulated term such as organic.
There does exist two governing bodies to certify the strict rules and regulations for certification, and they are:
- Demeter International (Certifies predominately North America)
- Biodyvin (certifies only 100 European wineries)
In that case why not just buy organic wine?
No reason not to, but you have to look at the process that goes into the biodynamic wine.
Biodynamic predates “organic” by at least twenty years.
Some say it is worth it to drink these wines, due to taste, flavor, and being in tune with the cosmos.
When it is all said and done, if your spirit tells you to roll with the cosmic vibe, then biodynamic is your choice.
Check It Out!
An Introduction to Biodynamic Viticulture 7:02
“Biodynamic Wine.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 31 Oct. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodynamic_wine.
“What’s the Difference between Organic, Biodynamic, and Sustainable Wines? | Ask Dr. Vinny | Wine Spectator.” WineSpectator.com, www.winespectator.com/drvinny/show/id/41226.
“Getting Into Biodynamic Wine.” Wine Folly, Wine Folly, 16 Sept. 2015, winefolly.com/review/biodynamic-wine-guide/.