Our society today is becoming increasingly conscious of the footprint we create through our consumption. Whether its the free range organic eggs instead of eggs from battery farms, or making sure that the steak we eat comes from free roaming, pasture fed, happy cows. We are now looking more and more at our wines to offer these same values. The Australian organic market report stated that organic grape production had gone up 120% between 2011 and 2014.
Organic wine is produced by using organic grapes. This means no synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fungicides have been used in the growing of these grapes. An organic grower takes a much more ecological approach to the maintenance and growing of their vineyards. This ecological mindset replaces that of a conventional one, in the sense that if a problem, lets say say a pest infestation occurs, that instead of nuking them with a powerful chemical, they will look to what can be done to naturally prevent and stop this infestation. This might be identifying a natural predator for said pest infestation. These practices lend themselves to creating a much more natural eco system for a vineyard or any crop for that matter to grow in.
Biodynamic wine is based on principles that were developed by Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner in the 1920’s. Steiner said that biodynamic farming is a “holistic understanding of agricultural processes”. These processes and approach sees the vineyard as a part of the wider galaxy or solar system. Vineyards and crops are planted and tendered to in accordance with universal forces, like lunar calendars and moon phases. Astrology plays a big part in the decisions made in biodynamics. Fertilisers also adopt this holistic, almost ritualistic approach too. Preparation 500 is a common fertiliser used, the cow poo is put inside of a cow horn and then buried for months, before finally being applied to vineyards.
Its very interesting stuff.
Check out the following links if you want to know a bit more organics and biodynamics.