It’s one of those “buzz words” in the world of wine that simultaneously creates a lot of excitement and a certain degree of controversy.
The word: Biodynamic.
The excitement stems from the idea that Biodynamic wines are made in a manner that is extremely friendly to the Earth, which means that the vineyards producing the grapes have the opportunity to exist for generations.
The controversy stems from the fact that the federal government, which regulates the wine industry, provides no legal definition for “Biodynamic.” So, the definition is left to certification organizations, and a good deal of self-regulation takes place.
One term that is regulated by the government is “organic,” which basically means that the grapes used to make the wine were grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or additives. For a wine to be labeled as an “organic wine,” the regulations extend to the cellar, where the addition of sulfites is prohibited.
It could be said that all Biodynamic wines are organic wines, but the thinking and processes define the vineyard as its own ecosystem. Furthermore, they restrict otherwise common processes in the cellar, including the use of various yeasts to slow, speed or otherwise manipulate the fermentation process, as well as adjusting acidity levels.
Some farmers even add natural soil supplements on specific dates as indicated by astronomical configurations. Today’s grape growers have taken the work and vision of Rudolf Steiner — who studied agriculture in the early 20th century — and embraced the most relevant principles. Included in Steiner’s teachings were both mystical and spiritual perspectives.
Basically, with a Biodynamic wine, what you see is what you get. It’s a product produced by Mother Nature with hardly any human intervention.
Most wineries that embrace Biodynamic farming follow the practices outlined by Demeter International, which has done great work not only for the wine industry, but for agriculture in general. The organization has helped many countries improve their agricultural practices so that they can feed their people today while ensuring they’ll also be able to feed their people in the future.
Many of the wines featured in the Earth-Friendly Wine Club are certified Biodynamic, and provide delicious opportunities to enjoy wine while being friendly to the only planet that’s presently welcoming to us humans.