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Biodynamic Wines

Keeping romance alive

To the unacquainted, biodynamic can seem like yet another buzzword splashed across our labels; organic winemaking’s more mysterious, moon-dancing cousin. 

Believer or non-believer: we’re not here to convert you. But when leading winemakers and heritage wine-houses, usually ruled inflexibly by the iron mistresses of science and ‘the bottom line’, jump on board, we pay attention. 

Resisting succinct definition, biodynamic viticulture uses living things to grow living things better, with roots in philosophy, the cosmos, and – some would say – sense. Conscious crop rotation and natural pest control, bolstering microbe populations for soil health. Then there’s the slightly more esoteric stuff that triggers skeptics; harvest cycles governed by the phases of the moon, and the like.

Drawing on the principles of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner and moon-worshiping gardening sage Maria Thun, biodynamic winemaking reintroduces a touch of mysticism to viticulture. Some adherents place stronger emphasis on the celestial ballet of moon-phases and myth than others, but its proponents are in agreement; it’s winemaking that puts harmony with the land firmly front and centre.

This holistic health movement for vineyards is more than just organic winemaking on steroids. Where many would say organic wines are characterised by distinctly different flavour profiles to that of their non-organic counterparts, biodynamic winemaking heavily centres changes at the vineyard level, with less intervention in the back end that is the ferment.

Viticultural choices are ruled by a four-phase moon calendar, splitting the month into Root, Fruit, Flower and Leaf Days, in accordance with the zodiac. This cosmic to-do list dictates when to plant, when to prune, when to sit back and sip instead. Beyond stargazing, the biodynamic winemaker eschews chemical fertilizers and pesticides, turning to natural compost, cover crops, and preparations of herbs, minerals, and cow manure to enhance soil quality and deter pests.

Like some ritual of devotion to Demeter or Dionysus, you’ll find the devout packing cow horns full of custom-compost preparations, to be buried, disinterred and redistributed across the vineyard at a later date. These methods, and others, preserve and promote biodiversity, balancing the ecosystems of the vineyard. From microbes to bigger bugs and pollinators, each services the vine and contributes to fruit quality.

What does this look like in the wine that follows? They've got personality and a distinct sense of terroir, wines that truly reflect the character of the vineyard and region. They're vibrant, expressive, and leave a lingering impression.

From iconic champagne houses like Egly-Ouriet, to Aussie innovators with growing cult followings like Somos and Minim, more and more winemakers are offering drinkers their version of a sensory pilgrimage to the heart of the vineyard. Whether you buy the celestial spin or remain determinedly mundane, if you like wines that transcend the ordinary, with intentional choices at every step of the process, biodynamic wines will take you places you enjoy.

It’s winemaking that puts harmony with the land firmly front and centre.

Biodynamic Favourites

Maybe it’s all romance, but it turns out romance is delicious. Here is a round up of our favourites.