While last week we outlined the rise in certified organic wine making, this week we have moved onto the philosophy of Biodynamic farming. Many organic growers follow the Biodynamic practice, you can regard Biodynamic farming as a philosophy and organic farming as adhering to rules.
Biodynamic farming is rooted around the work of Dr Rudolf Steiner to integrate a scientific understanding of agriculture and the spirit of nature. This philosophy has continued to evolve with further research, but it remains an ecological, and ethical approach to farming, recognising the dynamic nature of the individual environment from the plants to the farmer.
On vineyards, Biodynamic farming is a holistic approach to Organic agriculture, the entire vineyard is considered whole, and there is an interconnection between all living things. A biodynamic vineyard should ideally be a closed, self-sustaining system. This type of farming puts an emphasis on local climates and soil types to grow healthy grapes bursting with flavour of the region. Biodynamic winemakers focus on grape varieties native to their regions and express the terroir of their land. Like Organic farming, they use natural alternatives to the chemicals and pesticides to keep their grapes healthy and the vineyards more sustainable.
The philosophy also believes everything is cyclical and tuned into energy patterns of the earth such as the equinox, sunrise and sunset. The activities on the vineyard are controlled by the calendar of biodynamics with specific days for activities such as harvesting or pruning of the vines. Vineyard owners schedule agricultural activity following the position of the moon and the planets, animals are also an essential component, they graze and trim the vegetation around the vines while creating fertile soils for the vines.
But you may ask do biodynamic wines taste different? From our experience, it is almost impossible to differentiate between biodynamic, organic or sustainable made wines. However, winemakers who practice these wine making techniques may produce a taste that is more in tune with their land and methods of farming than other wines.