What are Biodynamic Wines?
Biodynamic wines are farmed organically and we at Sustainable Wines UK are a great supporter. They are grown according to the principles defined by Rudolph Steiner, an Austrian scientist/philosopher who, in 1924, wrote a series of lectures about the concept of the self-contained farm, where farm produce and organic wastes would be recycled to sustain the vitality and health of the soil.
Steiner also advocated the use of “homoeopathic” preparations made from naturally occurring plant and animal materials and designed to enhance the farm’s life forces, by being either sprayed on the vines or added to the compost heaps that are an important aspect of this way of farming.
Biodynamic principles include:
- A moon phase calendar used as a guide for the timing of key farm activities
- A focus on optimising soil biology, and thereby its vitality
- Application of herbal preparations to vitalise the soil and therefore the fruit of plants growing in that soil
- Appreciation that healthy, living soil produces vital, clean and nutritious food.
A very good educational resource is Jamie Goode’s WineAnorak.com website where he has researched and interviewed the world’s leading growers of biodynamic wines.
An excerpt about biodynamic wine growing comes from James Millton of Millton Wines, Gisborne, NZ:
"For 30 years (our) grapes have been grown in the traditional manner using biodynamic techniques. This involves growing the grapes without the use of herbicides, insecticides, systemic fungicides or soluble fertilisers. It incorporates the use of special herbal, mineral and animal preparations and teas and includes a deep understanding of the complex cosmic rhythms which affect these daily activities."
Does it taste different? The answer to (this) question about the effect on taste, flavour, aroma and texture is quite simple. Yes, it does make a difference. Just ask the famous domains in Burgundy, the respected estates in Alsace and the well meaning properties in the USA why they have changed to biodynamics in these last years and continually the response is that the land smells sweeter, harbouring more microbial life and the wines have more texture, purity, length of palate presence and most importantly offer to the consumer an honest 'sense of place'.
Read more about Millton Vineyards and their philosophy here
Demeter is the certifying organisation for biodynamic grapes and wines, read more about them here
View our selection of biodynamic wines below: