Biodynamic viticulture is a method of farming that treats the vineyard as a living system which generates wellness and fertility as much as possible from within the farm itself.
The practise of biodynamic agriculture is considered to be the first intentional form of organic farming. It was developed in the early 1920s based on the philosophy of Dr. Rudolf Steiner called Anthroposophy. Steiner gave a series of lectures on the subject which were later published as Agriculture. Now he’s considered to be one of the founders of the modern organic farming movement.
Biodynamics is an ecological and ethical approach to farming which focuses on the creation and maintenance of sustainable soil fertility and the recognition of the link between plant growth and the rhythms of the cosmos.
Working the land on both an etheric and physical level improves the effectiveness and efficiency of the organic processes. What distinguishes biodynamic farming from other forms of organic farming is the use of a complex system of herbal sprays and composting techniques known as preparations.
Biodynamic preparations include naturally occurring matter like camomile, oak bark, dandelion flowers, a mixture of extracts from minerals, or animal manure. These substances are then sprayed onto the land or inserted into compost to enhance root growth and soil life as well as to fortify the plants. The timing of the operations on the land is strictly regulated by the movements of the spheres.
Vino Nostrum represents many wineries which are producing wine according to the biodynamic farming principles. One of them is San Fereolo, owned and operated by Nicoletta Bocca. She adopted biodynamic farming in 2004.
“There is a huge confusion about biodynamic agriculture. I can see that people still today think that it is about some irrational magical rites. I simply believe that there are different levels of reality and that to work only by following the physical forces – which are the most visible ones – is not sufficient. We can do much more, we can work on another level, on the level of the etheric forces. In the case of living materials there are the etheric forces to bear in mind and even if we don’t see them or cannot measure them with mathematics, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
We need to remember that biodynamics and organic matter are just tools in winemaking. What should emerge at the end is not a biodynamic wine or an organic wine or a wine without sulphites. What should emerge in a wine is the terroir.”
– Nicoletta Bocca