Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Organic Vineyards and Biodynamic Treatments (last poll)

The influence of organic farming and winery management, and of the application of biodynamic principles is not easy to determine. It is therefore not surprising that nearly half of you thought the impact on wine is negligible. There are a number of wineries certified organic which claim benefits. But if they have been so from the beginning, who is to know? Only a longer timeline with changing conditions allows to make comparisons.

There are two wines which I have drunk for close to 20 years, where more organic and biodynamic principles have been applied over time. One is Cullen's Diana Madeline Cabernet/Merlot. This wine has become more lively and vibrant over the years. The fruit is ripe at much lower alcohol levels now. The other is Henschke's Mt. Edelstone. This wine could be heavy at times, maybe a little overworked. Again, since the biodynamic soil treatment has kicked in, I find this wine more alive and 'tasting of nature'. Of course, winemaking techniques may have changed as well.

My conclusion is that organic vineyard management allows more terroir characteristics to come through, and that biodynamic soil treatment further enhances the wine quality. As to the impact of lunar cycles, well, they have a big impact on tides, but I am yet to be convinced that certain activities in the vineyard or winery will have a different impact, depending on which day of the month they are carried out.

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