The Quintessa Estate in the northeast corner of Napa Valley’s Rutherford district has been farming biodynamically since 2000.
In 2005, the entire 280-acre property was converted to 100 percent organic and biodynamic farming practices. At the fall equinox, the biodynamic preparation is made from cow manure and fermented in a cow horn buried in the soil until spring. At the spring equinox, it is removed and used as a soil spray to stimulate root growth and humus formation.
Biodynamic compost is another fundamental component of the biodynamic method. After harvest, compost is spread across the vineyards, and at the same time, Quintessa begins to prepare compost for the next year, utilizing grape skins and seeds along with yarrow blossoms, chamomile blossoms, stinging nettle, oak bark, dandelion flowers and valerian flowers.
Together, the preparations and compost are considered the cornerstone of biodynamics.