What is biodynamic wine?
Whether you know much about it or not, everyone has an opinion when it comes to biodynamics. It has been called many things from the more positive ‘holistic’ and ‘selfsustaining’, through to ‘sorcery’, ‘voodoo witchcraft’ and ‘Harry Potter does winemaking!’.
Biodynamics meets with a lot of criticism, largely because many of its most integral practices cannot be explained scientifically. Despite the criticisms though, biodynamics within the wine industry has grown significantly over the last few decades, with many big names adopting the philosophy. There is general consensus that biodynamics makes for interesting wines.
Isn't it just 'organic plus'?
It’s easy to see biodynamic as a rigid adherence to the principles of organic farming with an added dimension: the strict application of specific ‘preparations’. However, while the preparations are important, there is more to biodynamics than this…
The name itself comes from two words: ‘bio’, meaning life, and ‘dynamic’, meaning forces. It is a way of seeing and emphasising the interconnectedness between all the life forces within the vineyard. A biodynamic farm should be self-sustaining with all these life forces working in unison to optimise the health of the soil.
Biodynamic philosophy is based on the works of Rudolf Steiner and a series of eight lectures on agriculture he gave in 1924. It is strongly linked to his thinking on anthroposophy (human wisdom), a philosophy that places human beings in the centre but acknowledges all the influences (physical, emotional, biographical etc) that go into making a being. Similarly by looking at and understanding all the influences and interconnections in the vineyard, we can better appreciate what actions we can take to help redress any imbalances.