We have more and more customers popping in to the shop and asking if we sell Bio-dynamic wines. We do! Here's the lowdown:
What is Bio-dynamic Wine? This completely organic wine is rather lovely and rather unusual too.
What Does Bio-dynamic Mean?
The concept behind bio-dynamics is that everything in the universe is interconnected and gives off a resonance or touchy feely vibration. The inter-connectivity and linking of everything even includes the moon, the planets, the earth and the stars. Bio-dynamic viticulture is the practice of the balancing of this relationship between vine, man, earth and stars.
Bio-dynamics is basically a holistic view of farming which pre-dates organic agriculture by almost a quarter of a century.
The vineyard is viewed as the universe, and only that which is on the vineyard can be used to grow and nurture the grapes. So, you’ll have chickens feeding on the bugs on the vines, sheep, allowed to graze in between the vine rows producing fertilizer and flowers planted to attract bugs away from the vines. In fact, biodiversity is encouraged; bees in the vineyard produce honey, cicadas, grasshoppers and butterflies dance and chirrup away plus an abundance of indigenous weeds and wildflowers create a visual delight. If you ever get the chance to visit a bio-dynamic vineyard, it is positively teaming with wildlife. Motor vehicles are usually not permitted on site, and in many cases, horses are used to get around, and also those Segeway things which i learned to my horror on a recent visit to Calmel & Josef bio-dynamic vineyard in Southern France! I can still remember the bruises.... The wines are exceptional though and we have a range of them in store.
Special preparations of organic matter such as manure, nettles and yarrow are stuffed inside cow horns (pictured) and then buried deep underground for a minimum of 4 years. These preparations are then dug up (probably horribly, horribly stinky) to be distributed across the vineyard as fertilizer.
The concept of Bio-dynamics started in the 1920’s with revolutionary philosopher Rudolph Steiner who also created the Steiner School movement. It is a holistic and homeopathic style of farming that also includes viticulture.
What Makes Wine Bio-dynamic?
Bio-dynamics occur primarily in the vineyard before wine making even happens. A special bio-dynamic calendar regulates all the viticultural tasks such as pruning, planting and harvesting. I use the "when wine tastes best" bio-dynamic calendar app on my phone to let me know when it's best to drink wine according to the rules.
Each bio-dynamic calendar day coincides with one of the four classical elements of Earth, Fire, Air and Water:
- Fruit Days: Best days for harvesting grapes (and drinking)
- Root Days: Ideal days for pruning (no drinking!)
- Flower Days: Leave the vineyard alone on these days (drinking good)
- Leaf Days: Ideal days for watering plants (drinking bad)
Its very important, (according to Rudolf Steiner) that bio-dynamic wine drinking take place only on fruit and flower days…. A leaf or a root day and you won’t enjoy your wine as much. Many believe that there can be no truth in any of this, and that it’s a load of old bunkum. However, some are dedicated to producing and consuming wine in this way. I must say, we are very impressed with the bio-dynamic wines we have in store so let me encourage you to try one next time you're passing by or choose one from our range and we can post it out or deliver for free if you live in Brighton, Hove and along the coast from Shoreham to Newhaven. Thank you for reading.