There are many ways of winemaking but organic wine can now no longer meet the expectations of those who appreciate all things natural, so the wine industry has, in response, developed a winemaking concept called Biodynamic Wine, which literally translates to ‘wine that is produced by the way of biodynamic agriculture’.
Perhaps you might have heard of the concept from some wine sellers, while some people in the industry even regard it as a major selling point; however, the concept might be difficult to grasp, since it is not a mainstream method of winemaking.
Biodynamic Agriculture may sound a bit mysterious, the concept was brought up at the beginning of this century by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner. He advocated the idea that the earth is alive and we should use the energy within the universe to enhance the energy of plants, while reducing our dependence on science and boosting the co-existence of man and nature.
Followers of the concept believe that before using the biodynamic method, we must first understand how the universe works and utilize the gravity of the earth based on its annual, monthly, and hourly cycle, the movement of the constellation, natural climate, rainfall, etc., to set the farming cycle.
Lunar gravity is an important factor for growers have a farming calendar based on moonlight, known as the Moon Planting Calendar. Based on the moonlight, dates such as Flower Day, Root Day, Leaf Day and Fruit Day will be set and must be strictly followed.
The concept uses the zodiac as its basis, the constellations are categorised into soil, fire, wind and water elements. When the heavily body enter different cycles, it represents the time for growing different varieties, and the use of animal farming is encouraged instead of using machinery.
Steiner also suggested ‘feeding the soil’ by putting pulverized quartz into ox horns and burying them in the spring soil for six months to boost the growth of leaves.
The more we talk about this concept, the more mysterious it gets, doesn’t it? Since biodynamic agriculture involves the observation of the constellations and gravity, it does give out an air of superstition, along with the complicated process, it will be difficult for biodynamic agriculture to become mainstream.
Whether or not biodynamic agriculture makes the best wines, I would like to stress that other critical factors should be taken into account, such as the skill of the winemaker etc. However, in France, the industry has an increased emphasis on the protection of the environment and sustainable farming, with many wineries already putting biodynamic agriculture into practice, so if you haven’t had biodynamic wine before, you should give it a try.
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