What is Biodynamic Wine?
The official definition of biodynamic farming according to the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association is “a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, gardens, food production and nutrition.”
Biodynamic wine is made with a set of farming practices that views the farm or vineyard as one solid organism. The ecosystem functions as a whole, with each portion of the farm or vineyard contributing to the next. The idea is to create a self-sustaining system. Natural materials, soils, and composts are used to sustain the vineyard.
Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are forbidden for the sake of soil fertility. A range of animals from ducks to horses to sheep live on the soil and fertilize it, creating a rich, fertile environment for the vines to grow in. Biodynamic farming also seeks sustainability, or leaving the land in as good or better shape as they found it for future generations.
The principle behind the practice
Biodynamics occur primarily in the vineyard before winemaking even happens. All the various tasks, from planting, pruning, to harvesting, are regulated by a special biodynamic calendar. The calendar was originally devised by the ‘high priestess’ of Biodynamics, Maria Thun, who divided days into four categories: Root, Fruit, Flower and Leaf Days.
Each biodynamic calendar day coincides with one of the four classical elements of Earth, Fire, Air and Water that have been used since before Plato’s era:
Fruit Days: Best days for harvesting grapes
Root Days: Ideal days for pruning
Flower Days: Leave the vineyard alone on these days
Leaf Days: Ideal days for watering plants
Biodynamic wine vs. Traditional wine
Does biodynamic wine taste different?
While this is certainly a subjective question, the answer to this question is generally: no. It is nearly impossible to blind taste a wine and deduce whether biodynamic practices were implemented or not. However, many winemakers who farm biodynamically also grow organic fruit, and between the combination of lack of pesticides and implementing farming practices in tune with nature (biodynamics), biodynamic wines may have a higher-quality taste profile than other wines.
If you would like to have a taste of biodynamic wines, we have some to offer at 88 Lounge:
Alois Lageder, Sudtirol Gewurztraminer, Alto Adige DOC
Tenuta Lageder, Porer Pinot Grigio Demeter Biodynamic, Alto Adige DOC, Single Vineyard
Alois Lageder, Dolomiti Pinot Grigio, Dolomiti DOC
Progetto Lageder, Cantina Riff Merlot Cabernet, DOC Trevenezie
Progetto Lageder, Cantina Riff Pinot Grigio, IGT Bianco delle Venezie