Vineyard/Farm - A Living, Life-Giving System
Organic Farming emphasizes the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water. Organic winegrowing recognizes that healthy soils grow balanced grapes that produce the best wines. Organic vineyards are often small, family-owned and -operated properties.
Organic winemaking uses natural processes and rejects the use of synthetic chemicals. Winemakers use organic grapes and yeasts to create wines of great character and purity.
Biodynamic® Agriculture, a sustainable system of farming, recognizes that all life is interconnected. Based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner (circa 1924), biodynamics includes the ideas of organic farming.
The foundation of Steiner’s
approach to farming is the blending of prescriptive, holistic practices
with the farmer’s experiences and observations. Steiner recognized
the rhythms of the sun and moon, the benefit of applying biodynamic
preparations such as horn manure and the wisdom of organizing the farm
as an independent unit.
Biodynamic winegrowers create
self-sustaining farms by using natural amendments, ideally from the
farm itself, to encourage growth and health in the vineyard.
Natural systems such as wildlife
corridors and cover crops, along with bees, birds, owls and free-range
chickens, keep populations of harmful insects and weeds in control and
provide a thriving environment for the vines. Winegrowers also use nature’s
own processes to restore nutrients to the soil, regulate water usage
and create biodiversity to keep balance in the vineyard.
By observing the unique needs
of the farm, winegrowers find creative, natural approaches that enable
the vines to attain their full flavor potential. The ultimate goal
for a biodynamic farm is balance and complete self-sufficiency, producing
everything it needs onsite, from fertilizer to pest control and water
Most importantly for wine quality,
biodynamic farming aims to produce a unique expression from each site
and, therefore, in the grapes and wines produced from each vineyard.
This expression, known as terroir, is a result of the combination
of soil, sunlight hours, slope, alignment to the sun, temperature and
the essential ego of place which can be tasted in the personality of
the grapes and, done correctly, the wine. Many say that biodynamic wines
are the most authentic expressions of terroir.