Geoffroy van Lede of le-vin-du-mois.be looks at winemakers who are in balance with nature by producing biodynamic wine.
What do the Domaine de la Romanée–Conti (Bourgogne), the Domaine Zind-Humbrecht (Alsace) and the Maison Marcel Chapoutier (Côte du Rhône) have in common? They are all following the precepts of biodynamics in their agriculture and viticulture.
What is biodynamics? It’s an arcane definition of nature as a multidimensional living entity.
The basis of biodynamics is a love of nature and the desire to work as naturally as possible. Biodynamic winemaking is not based on any scientific theory, but on something more esoteric. The land is seen as a living whole, and the winemaker strives to promote soil life, which in turn will give him good grapes. Instead of treating the disease efforts are made to correct the imbalance that creates the disease. Biodynamic farming is one step further than organic – to be biodynamic you need to follow the rules of organic farming and go even further.
Biodynamics combines a share of the mystical with a dose of the rational. It believes that the various elements (air, land and cosmos) are interconnected. And it takes a total approach to achieve the best results. Its basic element is the use of spray preparations, compost preparations (infusions) which respect the lunar calendar. The two preparations to be sprayed are fermented during a season in cow horns before being mixed with water and sprayed.
The compost preparations are preparations where the plants are fermented in animal bodies. They are then mixed with the material to be composted. The lunar calendar determines which periods are most suitable for treatment of the flower, fruit or root.
Conclusion? The magic makes it an even more delicious wine.
The greatest strength of biodynamics is also its greatest weakness: there is nothing scientific in its practices. This is what makes it so beautiful. Finally, this is a way of cultivation and vinification where the result is not determined by a laboratory, but by the interaction between the winemaker, the environment, his vineyard and the grapes. This makes for something magic in this wonderful beverage which is biodynamic wine.
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