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What Is Biodynamic Wine? This Wine Specialist Explains

Maybe you’ve heard of biodynamic farming. Have you ever heard of biodynamic wine?

You may wonder what “biodynamic” means and why it would be on a wine label. This article explains what biodynamic farming is, how it relates to wine, and the benefits of drinking biodynamic wine.

Biodynamic farming is a holistic approach to farming based on the belief that the earth’s ecosystem, lunar calendar, solar calendar and humankind all play an important role in agriculture.

The theory of biodynamic farming originated in the 1920’s by Rudolf Steiner. He believed that all parts of the universe are interconnected and that humans have the capacity to tap into the universal energy through meditation and mental practice.

Biodynamic farming is a holistic approach to farming based on the belief that the earth’s ecosystem, lunar calendar, solar calendar and humankind all play an important role in agriculture.

 
The biodynamic farming practice can also be applied to viticulture (grape cultivation) to enhance the flavors and benefits in the grape growing process.
 

How Does Biodynamic Farming Work?

Biodynamic farming follows all of the same practices as organic farming, meaning they use no chemical pesticides, herbicides, added sulfites or mega-purple.

Fact: Most Wine Is Actually NOT Vegan. Here’s What You Need to Know

Mega-purple is a common additive used to correct color and maintain consistent flavor in wine and is what stains your teeth and clothes. Translation: you don’t want it in your wine.

 
 
There are many ritual practices encompassed in biodynamic farming. One common practice is to bury herbs and a compost mixture in cow horns at the time of planting. Later the cow horns are dug up to use as compost throughout the vineyard. The herbs and compost mixture are believed to nourish the soil.

A primary component of biodynamic viticulture is the belief that the alignment of the planets and the phases of the moon should direct the course of work done in the vineyard and winery. Biodynamic farmers use the biodynamic calendar to dictate when to plant, prune the vines and harvest the grapes.

Biodynamic farming follows all of the same practices as organic farming, meaning they use no chemical pesticides, herbicides, added sulfites or mega-purple.

 
For example, harvesting can only occur on “leaf days,” while other maintenance can only be done on “root days.”

Some may view biodynamic farming as superstitious or unconventional, when in actuality, it is going back to farming’s origins and oldest practices. Biodynamic farming isn’t anything new but rather a movement of bringing back traditional farming methods.

It is being more recognized as valuable and beneficial for the land as well as the final product (and thereby the consumer).

Another benefit of biodynamic farming is that many believe biodynamic wines allow for the wine to express its true terrior.

Terrior is a French term meaning the all-inclusive physical environment of the vineyard including terrain, soil, regional climate, latitude, proximity to rivers and bodies of water, and local vegetation. Different wine regions are said to create a distinct terrior in the style and flavor of wine.

Biodynamic farmers also capitalize on the earth’s natural ecosystem. Plants and animals have a natural symbiotic relationship.

If pests like mealybugs or grasshoppers are threatening the livelihood of the vines, then farmers will introduce larger predators such as chickens or other animals to feed on these pests to naturally resolve the problem.

Biodynamic farmers also plant local vegetation between the vines and even leave some weeds as they believe they are there for a reason and are a part of the natural ecosystem of the vineyard.
 

Where You Can Find Biodynamic Wines

Biodynamic wines require certification from a private organization called the Demeter International. If you’re shopping in-person, you can identify biodynamic wine by this label.

You can also order biodynamic wines from Scout & Cellar, an online wine club specializing in certified organic, biodynamic, and vegan wines. Order through vinoandveggies.co.

Have questions about biodynamic wine or biodynamic farming? Have you tried biodynamic wine yet? Please share in the comments below – we love hearing from you!

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