What is Biodynamic wine?

Posted by Philippe Polleux on

Biodynamism is a complex system of precimples created by Rudolf Steiner in 1924.

To simplify it, I would describe it as a step above organic agriculture.

They will follow the lunar calendar before doing any works in the vineyard as the moon will have an effect on the crops. Chemical pesticides, fertilisers and herbicides are obviously forbidden. As organic production, farmers are allowed to use coppers and sulfites for treatments, but quantities are much lower.

Many producers also have an esoteric approach and aim to work in a most natural approach as possible.

There are few organisations that can give biodynamic certification, for instance the most famous are Demeter or Biodyvin. However not all producers will register to receive a certification.

Biodynamic wine is a niche but the interest among producers is growing. Producers of fine wine are also joining biodynamic farming, there are few famous exemple like Romanée-Conti which changed its production very early before the hype in 1989 or château Palmer in Bordeaux. Certainly the main reason is that it allows to produce great quality fruits and therefore quality wine.

Many wine drinkers believe there is a difference in taste and Biodynamic wine will not be as “Clean”. This is not always true, the  counter example would be the great names in Bordeaux who aim to achieve flawless wine. The final taste also depends on the winemaker and their way to work in the cellar.

Here are some examples of Biodynamic wine from our shop :

Mercurey - Bourgogne by Francois de Nicolay : He makes amazing wines very well structured, his wine really shows the terroir from his region without forgetting that wine is about pleasure.

Domaines des Carabiniers is based in the southern part of Rhone valley. The vines, in that region, very often suffer from dehydration. But Vines growing in biodynamie will have longer roots to get minerals, therefore, they can reach underground humidity easier. The wine in result is very solar but well balanced with a beautiful minerality. They are doing a fantastic job and manage to keep their wine affordable.

At last, the champagne from Pierre Brocard. It is not an easy region to turn a vineyard in biodynamie, as it is so much in the north, the weather can make the production very complicated. However, this producer reached a fantastic level of complexity in his champagne with lovely lemon curd aroma balanced with a delicate yeastiness.

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