By Contributing Writer Peter Minkoff
Not everyone may be familiar with the term biodynamic, and especially not when it comes to wine. However, if you take a more holistic approach to life and its pleasures, and you believe in the balance and interconnectivity of the man and universe, you’ll definitely enjoy the biodynamic concept. Essentially, a biodynamic approach to life, celestial energy, wine and human world is all about balancing the resonance of it all and finding something more in what the grand scheme of things has to offer.
There’s nothing extravagant and unusual about biodynamic agriculture. Essentially, it simply presents the holistic view of agriculture that allows for the finest and healthiest results in farming and production. After all, the whole concept was started by an Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner almost two decades before organic farming (in the 1920’s). This is still a concept that involves the natural way of farming, with all chemicals strictly avoided. It simply involves the holistic manner of farming and viticulture. In the end, consulting the celestial world for the best possible farming results is nothing new in the history of farming at all. If anything, it’s a traditional way of utilizing what Earth can provide us with.
You may be wondering what makes wine biodynamic. It all has to do with the preparation of the entire vineyard and production process before it’s time for the actual winemaking. The process and prep are regulated by the so-called biodynamic calendar. Essentially, the calendar is divided into four categories – root, fruit, flower and leaf days. Also, calendar days are all in correlation with the four elements – Earth, Fire, Air, and Water. This has been the case since before Plato’s time.
In general, fruit days are the ones that are perfect for grape harvesting. Root days are great for pruning. On flower days the vineyard should be left alone. Finally, one should water the plants on leaf days. Root days correlate with the Earth element, flower with Air, leaf with Water and fruit with the Fire element. In that respect, you wouldn’t want to do the harvesting on leaf days for example, since it’s believed that the Water element will prevail and make the grapes waterlogged.
The only controversial bit about biodynamic wine may be in the composting process. Essentially, biodynamic wine production and farming bans the use of chemicals and even manufactured additions for the compost. Therefore, the manufacturers make the compost in a pretty unique way which isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. Basically, one uses cow horns, fills them up with special compost preparations, buries the horns and the whole process creates the perfect fertilizer for the vineyard and the best biodynamic wine. What’s even more interesting is the fact that biodynamic soil tested considerably better compared to the conventional soil. Certified biodynamic wines contain sulfites though, so if you’re sensitive to sulfites you may want to keep this in mind.
Some would say that biodynamic wines don’t differ in taste compared to the regular wines. And, some people disagree, describing a more “natural and fresher” taste. The undeniable truth is that these wines are definitely well balanced and age graciously and tastefully for your perfect pleasure and holistic enjoyment.
It’s interesting that there are only around 620 biodynamic wine producers in the whole world. After all, the process is a bit tricky since it involves great effort, patience, and preparation. A truly dedicated farming process in correlation with the elements and life itself uses ingredients such as yarrow blossoms, chamomile and stinging nettles that were used as natural medicine and cleansers for ages. In case you’re interested in trying this spectacular kind of wine, you may as well enjoy sipping it during flower or fruit days in order to make the whole biodynamic and holistic concept more special.
Peter is a lifestyle writer at Twisted Male Mag and MAMagazine, living between Brisbane and London. Besides writing he worked as a menswear fashion stylist for many fashion events around UK & Europe. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.