Biodynamic & Natural Wines
Biodynamy is a concept of organic agriculture based on principles defined by the Austrian Philosopher Rudolph Steiner, part of his wider system of "Anthroposophy", or spiritual science. A farm, or a vineyard, is seen as a living system whose functioning is explained in terms of 'formative' forces. If something is wrong, it is because these forces are out of balance. There might be too much 'astrality', for example, and not enough 'etheric' force.
Even the most distant movements of the stars are connected to the smallest operations of the land. Lay-lines must be taken into account. The weakness of conventional science, in biodynamic terms, is its obsession with analysing physical effects, and ignorance of the forces that underlie them. Steiner was well aware that this would mappear 'insane' to many people.
Biodynamic practices can appear equally bizarre. Making 'Horn Manure', for example, involves burying a cow's horn full of manure at the autumn equinox and digging it up in the spring.
But many evidences suggest that biodynamic farming has real benefits for life of the soil:
- Analyses by soil microbiologist Claude Bourguignon, for example, found it compared favourably to both conventional and organic farming
- Some of the world most famous and finest wines are produced from biodynamic vineyards, as i.e. La Romanée Conti, Leroy, Leflaive, Pontet Canet, Clos Rougeard, Zind-Humbrecht, Chapoutier, …
- Recently even Chateau Latour the most famous estate of Bordeaux area has started to farm a significant part of his vineyard following the biodynamic practises
Testimony from famous biodynamic wine makers :
- Dominique Leflaive (Burgundy - France) english subtitles
- Romanée-Conti / Aubert de Vilaine (Burgundy - France)
- Biodynamic wines are very close to the natural wines. Except the Steiner principles applied to grow the vines, the main difference is just about the few inputs that are authorised for the biodynamic wine making process and rejected for the natural one
- Many of the biodynamic winemakers associate their approach with specific way of farming like permaculture or Fukuoka (Masanobu) natural agriculture principles
A so-called natural wine is made in a particular way but very simple to understand:
- Grow the vine as naturally as possible that means no chemical use, only the man and horse forces are accepted for both looking after and harvesting the vine > no machinery
- Produce the wine as naturally as possible, which means no pumping or mechanical process to go through that could alter the wine.
- At last , only a dash of or even no sulphite is added before bottling the wine
It might be a "grand cru" Burgundy or a “Vin de table”. It might be pure pinot noir or a mixture of ten different grape varieties. It might cost only £5 or up to £5000. There are natural wines in all of these categories.
What they all have in common is purity and honesty of expression. Natural wines taste of the grapes from which they are made and the place where they have grown.
Natural wine producers seek for wine with more typicality, authenticity and purity.