A Guide to Biodynamie
We have now been practicing biodynamic for over a year and are in the process of being certified by Demeter, which will add to our existing organic certification.
The health of our vineyard is improving naturally; its Biodiversity, soil fertility, crop nutrition, as well as its pest, weed, and disease management. The healthier the soil, the better the fruit - and as we always say: great fruit makes great wine!
This new certification is pushing our objectives even further than being organic. Organic means a total absence of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or any other chemicals in our vineyard and wines. But biodynamic also imposes the use of preparations made from herbs, mineral substances and animal manures in the vineyard, no added yeast in the winemaking process and even lower sulphites in our wines.
The biodynamic method was founded by the German philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) and goes one step further than organic by boosting diversity and abundance of microbial life in the soil.
Furthermore, the application of the Biodynamic treatments can be timed to coincide with the rhythms of the Earth and various cosmic cycles. A biodynamic calendar has been set by Maria Thun and is revised every year.
It is complicated and divides each year into days (and times of day) that are either favourable or unfavourable for different aspects of work. Timings depend on the movement of the Earth, Moon, and planets against the backdrop of the Zodiac constellations.
In Maria Thun’s timetable, four “forces” are ascribed to the individual parts of the plant as follows:
Earth (and Earth signs) with Roots Water (and Water signs) with Leaves Air (and Air signs) with Flowers Fire (and Fire signs) with Fruits and Seeds
Our treatments and work at the vineyard are timed to take place on the days offering the right conditions. Even wine tasting is influenced by this timetable and there is a biodynamic calendar for wine drinkers too. A fruit day would be the right time to open your bottle and when the wine tastes best!
Biodynamic preparations are made from herbs, mineral substances and animal manures which are sprayed and used as compost.
We spray these preparations after having "dynamised" them beforehand in our copper "dynamisor" tank, using the lunar calendar to try to better combine plant and soil with lunar influences.
The preparations are diluted down to homoeopathic levels in rainwater or for us from well water which we warm up in our small tanks to 37 degrees. They are then activated, or “dynamised” by extensive stirring before use. Stirring takes between 20 minutes and one hour, first clockwise, then anti-clockwise, creating a vortex. The preparations are used within 3-4 hours while still fresh.
These preparations aim to intensify the life of our soil achieving a better exchange between plant and soil.
Even if this all sounds rather mystic, we have seen improvement on the quality of our yield and the health of our vines. We hope to be working for the future, ensuring longevity of our vineyard, respecting and blending with nature. Both our red and white wines have received two stars in the guide Hachette 2017, so more nature in your glass and still winning awards.