Bio-dynamic Wine….what does it mean?
Have you ever been shopping for wine and come across a label that says “bio-dynamic” on it and found yourself wondering what that means? Well I am here to tell you! The idea of biodynamic farming has been around for a long time and pre-dates organic farming by almost 20 years; it is the oldest anti-chemical agricultural movement. The idea of biodynamic farming was started in the 1920’s by a man named Rudolf Steiner. That name may sound familiar because he is also the same man who founded the Waldorf School. The concept of biodynamic farming is basically a holistic approach to agriculture. Everything in the universe is interconnected and gives off a resonance or a vibe and biodynamic viticulture is finding a balance of vibes between the vines, man, the earth, and the stars. The lunar cycles play a large part in establishing this balance, not unlike the Farmers Almanac. Biodynamics also has a calendar that helps guide winemakers in their practices. The Calendar is divided into four types of days corresponding with the lunar cycle: Fruit, Root, Flower, Leaf. These days all correspond with how to care for the vines; Root days are days for pruning or cutting the vines. Fruit days are for harvesting the grapes, Leaf days are for watering, and Flower days are for letting the vines be.
Biodynamic wines can be found from all over the world! Wine growers such as M. Chapoutier and Beaux Freres, believe that following this calendar allows for the most natural and authentic vineyard expression of the earth within the wine itself. Bonterra Vineyard uses biodynamic farming because they believe it enhances biodiversity and biological activity in the soil, while also complementing organic practices. Biodynamic soils have been tested and shown to have greater disease suppression than non-organic soil.
Not all organically grown grapes are biodynamic, but all biodynamically grown grapes are organic. Biodynamic wines can be Certified Organic, as long as they meet the standards and pay a very large fee. If a Biodynamic wine is not Certified Organic, the label will usually say “Made with Organic Grapes”. In order to be considered certified biodynamic, wines must be certified by Demeter or Biodyvin. Biodynamic wines are also not vegan friendly, due to the use of a special compost practice where compost mixture is stuffed into cow horns.
We carry a number of bio-dynamic wines here at Divine Wines including: Mas de Daumas Gassac, Bonterra, Montinore Borealis, M. Chapoutier, Beaux Freres, Frey, and Natural Selection. Some of the wines do contain sulfites, so be sure to ask one of our staff members to show the ones with out! If you are interested by the biodynamic concept, you can carry the practice into your life by drinking the wines on Flower and Fruit days! According to the lunar cycle your wine should taste the best on those days. Try it out and let us know!
-Lauren, Divine Wines