Biodynamic wine is a type of wine that is produced using principles and practices derived from biodynamic agriculture. Biodynamic farming is an approach to agriculture that views the farm or vineyard as a self-sustaining ecosystem and seeks to enhance its vitality and harmony with nature.
Biodynamic principles were developed by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner in the early 20th century. The biodynamic approach considers the interrelationships between soil, plants, animals, and cosmic forces, emphasizing the influence of lunar and planetary rhythms on agricultural activities.
Biodynamic vineyards employ a range of practices to promote the health and vitality of the soil and plants. These practices typically include:
Composting: Biodynamic farmers create their own compost using a mixture of plant material, manure, and minerals. This compost is used to enrich the soil and enhance its fertility.
Planting and Harvesting according to lunar cycles: Biodynamic farmers follow specific lunar and celestial calendars for activities such as planting, pruning, and harvesting. They believe that the gravitational forces of the moon and stars affect the growth and development of plants.
Biodiversity and ecosystem preservation: Biodynamic vineyards strive to maintain a diverse and balanced ecosystem. They encourage the presence of beneficial insects, birds, and animals to control pests naturally and promote biodiversity.
Preparation and application of biodynamic preparations: Biodynamic farmers use various herbal and mineral preparations, such as the well-known "preparations 500" and "preparation 501," which involve burying cow horns filled with cow manure or ground quartz respectively. These preparations are used in very small quantities and are believed to enhance soil fertility and stimulate plant growth.
Organic and natural practices: Biodynamic farming adheres to organic farming practices, avoiding the use of synthetic chemicals, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and artificial additives. Instead, natural methods are employed to control pests, diseases, and weeds.
Biodynamic winemaking follows the same principles as biodynamic agriculture. Winemakers aim to produce wines that are a true expression of the terroir, reflecting the specific characteristics of the vineyard and its surroundings. They minimize the use of additives and rely on natural fermentation processes.
Biodynamic certification is available through various organizations that have their own standards and guidelines. If a wine is labeled as "certified biodynamic," it means that the vineyard and winery have met the specific requirements and standards set by the certifying body.
Biodynamic wine is often considered a step beyond organic wine in terms of sustainability and holistic agricultural practices. It places great emphasis on the interconnectedness of the vineyard ecosystem with the broader natural and cosmic forces.