Bio-dynamic wine isn’t some new age hippy crap, these practises are around 100 years old. Biodynamic growing is basically a harnessing of the earth's natural energy, holistic growing at it’s finest.
Each biodynamic calendar day coincides with one of the four classical elements of Earth, Fire, Air and Water that have been used since before Plato’s era:
- Fruit Days: Best days for harvesting grapes
- Root Days: Ideal days for pruning
- Flower Days: Leave the vineyard alone on these days
- Leaf Days: Ideal days for watering plants
While it’s mostly considered pseudoscience it’s interesting to look into. Many wine suppliers won’t schedule their big trade tastings for root or leaf days, as it’s believed that wine will taste better when drunk on fruit and flower days. We once attended a tasting which began on a “root day”, until 2pm, when we were encouraged to go back around and taste the wines again in the new “fruit day.” It’s the same kind of phenomenon that occurs when you open a wine and it’s not drinking great, then you have another glass the day after “just to check” (we’ve all done it don’t even lie) and it’s been singing in your glass.
Some people believe it to be related to the pull of the moon. Wine is about 85% water (remember, we’re all about 72% water!) and it’s believed that the we are both as affected by the pull of the moon as much as the tide is (FYI, this is actually where the term “lunatic” comes from – luna meaning “of the moon” in Latin.)
Bio-dynamic is inherently an anti-chemical style of wine making. For fertiliser, Cow horns are stuffed with special compost preparations. After being buried for a time, pointing North, the contents are used to make a ‘tea’ for fertilising the vineyard. Cow horns have always be symbolic of abundance. The tea? Not sure… Why facing North? A mystery… but they make good wine, and biodynamic vineyards tend to have a higher level of soil health than other vineyards, so something must be going right.
You can check if it’s a fruit day here. We’d use it as an excuse to crack open that nice bottle you’ve been saving….