Next Level Organic Wine Making
Written by Michael McNelis, Wine Educator
Biodynamics can be defined as a holistic, ecological, and ethical approach to farming, gardening and food nutrition. In a sense, it is identified as an enhanced or extreme form of Organics (being that all Biodynamic vineyards must begin as organic.) Although it has only become a “hot topic” in the wine industry as of late, Biodynamics is actually the oldest certified regenerative agricultural practice there is (since the discovery of the chemical fertilizer just after WWI.) This movement of farming practices pre-dates Organics by 20 years yet is still misunderstood by the majority of the population.
Introduced by Rudolph Steiner in 1924, Biodynamics is a compilation of specific practices and preparations implemented in the vineyard that are aligned with the cosmic calendar. With a fully self-sustainable approach using products that would only be readily available on one’s farm, the goal of biodynamics is to produce healthy soil and balanced vines that are in harmony with nature. When employing Biodynamic practices, the entire farm is viewed as one living organism with every plant and animal connected to one another. This creates greater biodiversity and allows the vineyard to defend itself from pests and diseases without the applications of chemicals.
Biodynamics revolves around the desire to have a more powerful “life-force” in the vineyard. All practitioners of these methods believe that this increased life-force translates directly into the finished wine. With the increase of minerals and nutrients in the soil (as well as the organisms necessary to break them down to be absorbed by the root system,) the resulting fruit is full of life. Biodynamic practitioners claim to produce soulful fruit that makes wines with increased levels of vibrancy, deeper layers of flavor and display a sense of place that may otherwise be lost if they were to farm chemically.
Biodynamic practices transfer over from the vineyard to the winery, and Allied Beverage Group is proud to represent producers that consistently strive to make delicious wines that are Certified Biodynamic.
Benziger Family Winery of Sonoma. Benziger Sonoma Mountain Estate transitions from conventional to Biodynamic farming in 1995. Five years later, in 2000, the Estate was officially certified as a Biodynamic Farm.
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht of Alsace, France. Managed by Olivier Humbrecht, one of the world’s only winemakers to attain MW status. His passion for Alsatian wines and Biodynamic farming translates into a portfolio of legendary wines recognizable for their purity, intensity and expression of each individual vineyard site.
Montinore Estate of Oregon is one of the largest producers of certified estate wines made from Biodynamic grapes in the USA. Rudy Marchesi has been farming and making wines under the Demeter Biodynamic Certification since 2008.
Reyneke of South Africa. In 1988, the Reyneke family bought the farm Uitzicht, an 85-acre farm on the ridge of the Polkadraai Hills, with spectacular views of Stellenbosch. Reyneke was the first farm in South Africa to achieve a Biodynamic certification.