Organic & Biodynamic

Try our selection of organic and biodynamic wines (AB, Ecocert, Agrocert, Demeter, Biodyvin...)

Wine production comprises two main phases - that which takes place in the vineyard (i.e. grape growing) and that which takes place in the winery (i.e. fermentation of the grapes into wine, bottling etc.).

Organic wine is wine made from grapes grown ...

Try our selection of organic and biodynamic wines (AB, Ecocert, Agrocert, Demeter, Biodyvin...)

Wine production comprises two main phases - that which takes place in the vineyard (i.e. grape growing) and that which takes place in the winery (i.e. fermentation of the grapes into wine, bottling etc.).

Organic wine is wine made from grapes grown in accordance with organic farming principles, which typically excludes the use of artificial chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides.

In conventional agriculture, chemical fertilizers and weedkillers are used to promote larger yields while pesticides and fungicides protect against disease. These same chemicals are absorbed through the roots into the vine's sap and are then passed through leaves, and stems into the fruit. As a result, residues of these chemicals find their way into the finished wine. In addition to the effects of direct consumption, conventional 'chemical based' farming has a significant impact on soil and water quality. Wine growers farming with chemicals have to wear 'hazmat' style clothing and breathing apparatus to protect themselves while crop spraying.

Proponents of organically grown wine believe (and we believe) that chemical farming destroys the uniqueness of the land, and the unique flavor that this 'terroir' imparts to the wine.

Using native yeasts and relying on minimal manipulation often means that wines have a more unique profile from year to year. Different vintages vary more than conventionally made wine because of the non-interventionist approach. This is a key part of the natural wine aesthetic which emphasizes the least amount of intervention to bring the true flavor of each vintage to the glass.

Some farmers take additional steps beyond standard organic winemaking to apply sustainable farming practices. Examples include the use of composting and the cultivation of plants that attract insects that are beneficial to the health of the vines. Sustainable practices in these vineyards also extend to actions such as providing areas for wildlife to prevent animals from eating the grapes and allowing weeds and wildflowers to grow between the vines. Sustainable farmers may use bio-diesel for tractors in the vineyards to reduce emissions among the vines, or plough with horses...

Biodynamic wines are wines made using the principles of biodynamic agriculture. Biodynamic refers to both the agricultural methods and the handling and processing of the fruit post-harvest.

Like biodynamic agriculture in general, biodynamic viticulture stems from the ideas of Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925), who gave his now famous Agriculture Course in 1924. The principles and practices of biodynamics are based on his philosophy, called anthroposophy, which includes understanding the ecological, the energetic, and the spiritual in nature.

As a practical method of farming, biodynamics embodies the ideal of ever-increasing ecological self-sufficiency just as with modern agro-ecology, but includes ethical-spiritual considerations. This type of viticulture views the farm as a cohesive, interconnected living system.

Grape growers who have adopted biodynamic methods claim to have achieved improvements in the health of their vineyards, specifically in the areas of biodiversity, soil fertility, crop nutrition, and pest, weed, and disease management.

Biodynamic winemakers claim to have noted stronger, clearer, more vibrant tastes, as well as wines that remain drinkable longer. Biodynamic producers also note that their methods tend to result in better balance in growth, where the sugar production in the grapes coincides with physiological ripeness, resulting in a wine with the correct balance of flavor and alcohol content, even with changing climate conditions.

In a blind tasting of 10 pairs of biodynamic and conventionally made wines, conducted by Fortune and judged by seven wine experts including a Master of Wine and head sommeliers, nine of the biodynamic wines were judged superior to their conventional counterpart.The biodynamic wines "were found to have better expressions of terroir, the way in which a wine can represent its specific place of origin in its aroma, flavor, and texture."

Critics acknowledge the high quality of biodynamic wines, but question whether many of the improvements in vineyard health and wine taste would have happened anyway if organic farming were used, without the mysticism and increased effort involved in biodynamics. Other critics attribute the success of biodynamic viticulture to the winemakers' higher craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail.

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

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