biodynamic wine

Nudity, manure and stinging nettles

Sounds like an unpleasant combination doesn’t it, but for some it’s and integral part of wine-making. What am I talking about?


Before we get to the intricacies of Biodynamics though, let’s start out with the more common term that forms a base to it:

o for organic

Today’s letter which is O for Organic.

Organic wines are simply made from grapes that have been grown without the use of artificial pesticides, fungicides, or fertilisers etc. Anything that is used during the growing of the grapes will be completely natural. Simples.

Biodynamics, is a controversial subject though. Some people swear by it, whereas others see it as one step beyond organic towards crazytown.

So what’s the deal? Well, contrary to popular belief it isn’t about dancing around the vineyard, naked, under the full moon. It’s actually all about keeping your grape growing activities tuned to the lunar cycles, as well as using a bit of astrology and following the rhythms of the earth. Yes, it does sound a bit hippie doesn’t it? The thing is, when you think about it, if the moon is strong enough to control our tides, then surely it suddenly doesn’t seem like such a stretch to think that it might affect how things grow too.

Speaking to Louis Barroul, head winemaker for Chateau St Cosme in the Rhone last year, he swore blind that since using biodynamic viticulture then his vineyards had flourished. Once he sprayed on a certain preparation, he was amazed to find that all the green, leafy vegetative growth halted and the vine put all of its energies into producing fantastic quality grapes, which of course result in great wine.

You would be surprised at the amount of producers out there that practice both organic (and to a lesser extent) biodynamic viticulture. The problem is with both Organic and Biodynamics is that to gain the certification you have to buy the rights to use it so many producers just don’t bother. The best way to find out what their practices are would be to visit their website.

Able & Cole have a great range of Organic and Biodynamic wines, so why not give some a whirl?

Let me know your thoughts on the matter!

4 thoughts on “Nudity, manure and stinging nettles

  1. Very interesting article about organic wine and I will try some from Able & Cole as they have a good selection.

  2. I went to a tasting last week on Castello di Tassarolo wines from Piemonte, Italy.

    Was great to hear some of the techniques they use, especially how to prevent oxidisation and allow them to use no sulphites. Some of which soundered abit crackers. You should take a look at the “Whens best to drink wine 2013” book.

    Worth giving there wines ago, i quite liked them.

    Another great post :)

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