WHAT IS BIODYNAMIC WINE?
Biodynamic wine is made with a set of farming practices that views the farm or vineyard as one solid organism. Natural materials, soils, and composts are used to sustain the vineyard; chemical fertilizers and pesticides are forbidden for the sake of soil fertility and farmers adhere to strict regulations for common additives like sulfur and fining agents. Animals like ducks, horses and sheep live on the soil and fertilize it, creating a rich, fertile environment for the vines to grow in. Biodynamic farming drives sustainability, as it leaves the land in as good or better shape as they found it for future generations to come.
WHEN DID BIODYNAMIC WINE START?
Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner started the idea of biodynamic agriculture in the early 1920s, predating the organic movement by a long shot. This early 20th century philosopher and social reformer also promulgated the use of agricultural practices based on the lunar calendar and astrological influences and he believed in living and farming together with the earth and its movements, as opposed to using a purely scientific approach.
HOW IS BIODYNAMIC WINE MADE?
Biodynamic wine is made by farming all components of the vineyard as one whole entity, eliminating the use of chemicals and using natural materials and composts. Farming practices, from pruning to harvesting, are controlled by the biodynamic calendar and farmers have to following it accordingly, which is also another integral part of the process. It breaks all the tasks associated with farming into four kinds of days:
Root days – Ideal days for pruning
Flower days – Ideal days to leave vineyard alone
Fruit days – Best days for harvesting grapes
Leaf days – Ideal days for watering plants
DOES BIODYNAMIC WINE TASTE DIFFERENT?
No, It is nearly impossible to blind taste a wine and deduce whether biodynamic practices were implemented. However, many winemakers who farm biodynamically also grow organic fruit, and biodynamic wines may have a higher-quality taste profile than other wines.
HOW TO FIND BIODYNAMIC WINES
When searching for biodynamic wines, they must be certified. Look for a logo from Demeter International, the largest and best known biodynamic certification. Biodyvin is another, much smaller certifier of only 100 European wineries.