Biodynamic Wines: Growing Support for A New-Age Trend

by Melissa Auman Greiner on Jun 27, 2012 in Wine
Biodynamic Wines: Growing Support for A New-Age Trend

Green living has gone beyond trend status to a way of life for many of us, and while we aren't quite ready to join life on the commune anytime soon, most of us have a reusable shopping bag to our name, have purchased some organic fruits or veggies, and are putting that recycling bin behind the house to good use. Some of us have gone further, investing in alternative energies or nixing the car in favor of our own two feet. But how many of you have buried a cow horn filled of manure under a full moon? Really? No one?

Biodynamic Farming

Perhaps to your surprise, a number of earth-friendly vineyards have, just one step in a sometimes silly sounding eight-part process that is the heart of biodynamic farming. Based on the ideas of agriculture expert Rudolf Steiner, biodynamic theory began well before the organic movement - back in 1924. The approach not only takes on sustainable and green practices like organic farming, but adds in a spiritual element that considers the plants, soil, sun, and all other components of the space as a living being.

At the core is the preparations of biodynamic agriculture - steps the farmers must take at certain times of the year to strengthen the spirit of the land and encourage the growth, yield, and quality they desire. It all begins with burying cow manure in a cow horn in the dead of winter, then digging it up and spraying the mixture with water over the land beneath the afternoon sun. Yes, we know, it sounds a little bizarre. It actually gets even more unusual, with ground quartz, stag bladders, various flowers, and an animal skull all playing integral parts. But, according to the vineyards who are popularizing the return of these preparations, they are worth it for the finished product they provide.

Methods Show Results

Of course, those results are as hotly discussed as the methods. Some growers swear they have overcome disease and rot once starting biodynamic farming. Some say their soil is better, their plants are healthier, and they have little to no weeds or pests. Science has stepped in and attempted to test, but a study comparing a biodynamic farm and a classic organic farm didn't show any obvious difference.

Taste, however, may be the one big difference that biodynamic vintners have on their side. The wines that result from biodynamic grape crops constantly test well in tastings, often above their traditional counterparts. And a tasting run by Fortune magazine resulted in all of the Master Sommeliers in attendance selecting biodynamic wines over normal options.

That alone seems to have gotten the attention of the wine community, as both small boutique vineyards and larger producers worldwide have switched to, or at least begun experimenting with, biodynamic practices. They may not be feeling the zen, New Age spirit of Steiner as they sprinkle tea over the vines, but they are willing to try it.

Want to try it, too? The wines, that is — we’ll leave the sourcing of cow intestine to you. On the cusp of the trend, stores are stocking a decent number of biodynamic wines. Head into your friendly neighborhood shop and you will likely see a small display showcasing Danica and biodynamic options. Many bottles have the term "biodynamic" on the label, but other producers don't obviously advertise their farming techniques. A little fun on Google will help you find more options, many of which are in stores or available for order online. And the price for all this mystic madness won't cost you much green — bottles usually range from $13 to $50. Does it actually make for better vino? You be the judge.

Top photo via Organic Wine Journal on Facebook; middle photo via Flickr user stefano lubiana wines; bottom photo via Flickr user Danielle Speiss

Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Guinness to Open US Brewery in the Baltimore Area, August 3

Guinness to Open US Brewery in the Baltimore Area, August 3

If you haven't had a chance to drink a fresh pint of Guinness in Ireland, no worries, because Guinness is opening a 62 acre brewery and taproom just s...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jul 6, 2018
9,000 Bourbon Barrels Fall to Ground During Collapse at Sazerac Distillery Warehouse

9,000 Bourbon Barrels Fall to Ground During Collapse at Sazerac Distillery Warehouse

Pour some out, because 9,000 barrels of whiskey were damaged during a distillery's building collapse in Kentuc...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jun 26, 2018
SPONSORED
Drink Nation Store Rectangle
John Legend is Now Making His Own Wine With Napa's Raymond Vineyards

John Legend is Now Making His Own Wine With Napa's Raymond Vineyards

Award-winning singer-songwriter John Legend is partnering with Raymond Vineyards for his line of luxury wines,...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jun 26, 2018
Join the Happy Hour Jubilee at Julep

Join the Happy Hour Jubilee at Julep

Julep started an afternoon happy hour for the bright days of summer....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Jun 26, 2018
Dylan Sprouse, Star of Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Co-Founded a Brooklyn Meadery

Dylan Sprouse, Star of Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Co-Founded a Brooklyn Meadery

From the Suite Life to the Mead Life, Dylan Sprouse is living his best life as the CEO and co-founder of All-W...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jun 14, 2018
Game of Thrones & Johnnie Walker are Releasing a White Walker Scotch

Game of Thrones & Johnnie Walker are Releasing a White Walker Scotch

HBO's hugely popular fantasy show won't return for its final season until April 2019, but in the meantime, Gam...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jun 12, 2018
Snoop Dogg Mixes World's Largest Gin and Juice

Snoop Dogg Mixes World's Largest Gin and Juice

Snoop Dogg, rapper and huge fan of gin mixed with orange juice, took the stage at the BottleRock Napa Valley music festival to mix up one of the large...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jun 11, 2018
Denver's Best Summer Sips

Denver's Best Summer Sips

Here is a list of tasty sips to chill you out on steamy summer days....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Jun 11, 2018
Behind the Bar: Amanda Victoria of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Behind the Bar: Amanda Victoria of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society

For this installment of Behind the Bar, we spoke to Amanda Victoria, the current Communications Director for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in America...read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 22, 2018
SPONSORED
Drink Nation Home Bar Project Rectangle
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close