The term ‘bio-dynamic’ is used to describe an approach to farming that is ethical, holistic and ecological, and it applies not only to planting and harvesting wine, but it is also a practice put forth by farmers of all types of agriculture. It is a relationship that is shared with the land, the product, and the myriad of organisms living in the farm. In many ways, it is considered the first take on modern organic agriculture.
Furthermore, ‘bio-dynamic’ is a trademarked term that can encompass a vast assortment of different practices and methods. These methods can range from consulting the lunar cycles and star charts, to planting cow horns filled with fresh manure underground and later making a tea from the contents to spray over the crops, to utilizing farm animals and other living plants such as rose bushes as natural deterrents to insects and other pests. In short, when you see bio-dynamic on your wine label, you can be assured that the vintners are enlisting sustainable, environmentally conscious practices that impact their immediate environment by lessening their carbon footprint. Also included in the standards of bio-dynamic farming is a significantly reduced number of added sulfites. Underlying, moreover, is concern for the terroir and the impact of pesticides and chemicals upon the land over an extended period.
The birth of bio-dynamic farming can be traced back to 1924, when scientist Dr. Rudolf Steiner began giving lectures to farmers in Germany that focused on the scientific aspects of farming, which was done in response to the farmer’s concern over the degrading quality of soils that resulted from pesticides and chemical treatment. Nearly 100 years later, this approach seems more pertinent than ever. While such careful consideration and thoughtful practices can impart a better peace of mind over what is being consumed, there is no evidence to suggest that bio-dynamic wine is “better”, or more flavorful, than wine that is produced using conventional methods. Additionally, as is the case with an organic certification, to obtain bio-dynamic certification is a costly, time consuming process, and thus there are some producers on the market who are enlisting such practices without going through the formalities of obtaining the certification; rather, it is simply what they have known through generations of wine making and would not consider any other way. All this is to say, you may have enjoyed, or perhaps are currently consuming, a bottle of wine that is, in fact, produced using bio-dynamic practices but is not labeled as such.
What we can take away from all of this is that there are a growing number of farmers out there who are shifting the needle away from a more robotic, convenient way of approaching agriculture. Not only is the emphasis on bio-dynamic farming important to wine producers, but it should be considered by consumers who are looking for a more holistic and conscious approach to their beverage of choice.
Here is one Bio-dynamic wine that we have brought in for you to try, available at Marczyk’s Fine Wine:
Pablo Claro Rose – $16.99 (FF/$14.99 3/$14.24 6/$13.49 12/$12.74)