Biodynamics is a set of principles and practices that view the farm as a living organism. An organism that is self-contained, self-sustaining, and follows the cycles of nature. It is a regenerative organic farming system that focuses on soil health, the integration of plants and animals, and biodiversity. With a holistic view, it demands close observation and participation of the farmer to maximize the individual characteristics of the property.
In practice, soil, plants, animals and humans together create this holistic organism improving and building the farm’s individual character. Similar to French term and concept of terroir. We have three different vineyards/properties each with their own character due to their different soils, plants, animal and human interactions.
A distinguishing feature of biodynamic agriculture is the use of preparations made from herbs, mineral substances and animal manures that are utilized in field sprays and compost inoculants. Timely application revitalizes the soil and stimulates root growth, enhances the development of microorganisms and aids in photosynthesis. We also make some compost teas that are natural plant fertilizers.
The Astronomical Calendar
Farmers throughout time have realized that nature can be more fully understood by studying and integrating natural, cyclical rhythms as well as the gravitational pull of the moon on the earth’s moisture. Many biodynamic farmers look to the astronomical calendar in planning their activities including pruning, cultivating, irrigating, harvesting, and spraying preparations. Biodynamic winemaking also looks to the astronomical calendar to plan not just harvesting but also racking, bottling, and tasting.
The principle and goal of biodynamic winemaking is to protect and express the individual vineyard/properties’ character or terroir. You can not adjust acidity or sugar levels and you can only add up to 100ppm sulfites. Additives such as yeast, malo-lactic bacteria, enzymes or tannins are not allowed. Storage or techniques that add flavor, such as new oak barrels or chips are not allowed. This ensures wine with an expressive and unique individuality: a “taste of place” or terroir.
Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David R. Montgomery
Dirt to Soil by Gabe Brown
The Biodynamic Farm by Herbert H. Koepf
A Soil Owner’s Manual by Jon Sitka
Nourishment by Fred Provenza