“The biodynamic approach involves intuition, a sort of deeper knowing, and synchronicity with the land and life itself.”
Biodynamic wine – as our shop manager Charlie likes to put it – is like organic wine with bells on!
Biodynamic predominantly refers to the way the grapes are farmed. As with organic farming, it means that the grapes are farmed without the use of chemical fertilisers, herbicides, and pesticides. The process of biodynamic farming, however, is much more complex, considered, and in balance with nature. It is a more holistic approach and when practiced properly tends to become a way of life for the farmer or winegrower. It could be described as a practice for the cultivation of life itself!
Biodynamic farming creates perfect conditions for cultivation by mirroring nature’s ecosystems. A focus on biodiversity means that with time and effort the land will look after itself. By encouraging diversity in flora, fauna, and insect and animal species the land becomes rich and abundant. It becomes a living organism where balance is maintained through diversity.
When walking onto a biodynamic farm or vineyard it soon becomes clear. It is often possible to hear an abundance of life: birdsong, crickets, farm animals. You won’t only see the crop that is being cultivated but much more. For example, you may see flowers, grasses, herbs, vegetable gardens, and perhaps the odd wandering sheep or goose. On closer inspection, you may see piles of compost. The preparation of composts is a key part of biodynamics as the microbiological life is crucial to the health and balance of the larger organism of the working farm.
At certain times of the year, herbal teas are made that are used to treat the crops. Famously, one treatment is made by burying cow manure in a cow horn for a period of time. Another aspect of biodynamic farming is following lunar cycles to determine the best time to conduct certain farming operations such as pruning or harvest. This is a practice that often gets banded around to almost discredit the biodynamic approach. It’s often one of the first descriptions given about biodynamic farming. Scientifically, the lunar calendar determines the tide and, therefore, the height of the water table. This has a very real effect on the crops. However, if biodynamic farming is being used purely based on scientific research and evidence then the point is perhaps being missed. The biodynamic approach involves intuition, a sort of deeper knowing and synchronicity with the land, and life itself.
Weissburgunder, Judith Beck 2020£ 17.00
Fosc, Finca Parera 2019£ 18.50
Clar, Finca Parera 2019£ 18.50
La Griffe’ Côtes du Rhône, Dom. de Villeneuve 2012£ 26.50
Lammas Pet Nat Rose, Limeburn Hill 2020£ 32.00
Sancerre ‘Akmeniné’, Sébastien Riffault 2015£ 34.50
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Dom. de Villeneuve 2015£ 44.50