Bio-dynamic grape growing takes organic wines a stage further: it develops soil life and builds the natural immunity of the vine. Only natural yeasts are used and no artificial adjustments are made nor animal products added. So, as a bonus any of these wines will also be a vegetarian wine.
The grower will try to use a holistic approach, preferring to generate raw material, like fertilizer and sprays, from the farm, the community, or increasingly from cooperatives of other like-minded growers nearby.
An important aspect of bio-dynamic grape growing is the social/ community one. It is more labour intensive: there is a real benefit to working manually in the vineyard. Using a horse to plough might seem a bit excessive but hands always beat machines at pruning and picking. These growing methods help keep rural communities alive and are more sustainable.
Strange as it might seem:
- The vineyard is cared for homeopathically with various organic sprays and treatments. While the benefits of homeopathic medicine for humans might be open to discussion; we are not aware of vines getting any placebo benefit and yet the results are very tangible.
- The activities in both the vineyards and wineries are carried out according to a calendar governed by the moon and planets. While this seems very wishy-washy, it does seem to help.
- The soil is more alive and healthier than the bland soils found in conventional vineyards. Growers are constantly improving their soil rather than purposefully destroying it to make a safe blank canvas with no life. The vines are healthy through natural prevention rather than chemical cure.
- In a bio-dynamic vineyard the increased competition on the surface from other plants pushes the roots of the vines down deeper. The vines have better mineral horizons to draw upon and are less affected by conditions on the surface so the fruit is more concentrated, there is more flavour and it is healthier. The vines are more consistent and resistant to ailments and disease.
Whether or not you believe in this farming approach, we believe that you really will taste the difference. For us, time has shown that either the methods themselves work or that the obsessive nature of the growers means the wines really are better wines.
For more try the BDA website, as they say: The Association exists in order to support, promote and develop this approach to farming, gardening and forestry. This unique form of organic growing seeks to improve the nutritional value of food and the sustainability of land by nurturing the vitality of the soil through the practical application of a holistic and spiritual understanding of nature and the human being.