Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Wine Blogging Wednesday #29: Biodynamic Wine

Jack and Joanne at Fork & Bottle are the hosts for the January edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday. The theme for this month's event is Biodynamic wines, and you can click on the theme for a full brief. On January 17, winebloggers will post their tasting notes for wines produced following this method.

I've written before on biodynamics, and in that post I reviewed a 2004 Sollner Danubio Gruner Veltliner and provided links to stories about biodynamic farming methods (including a link to an NPR story). Biodynamics uses traditional farming practices gathered together by the theosophist Rudolf Steiner, and an increasing number of winemakers are being drawn to the methods for reasons of sustainability and because some feel that the methods increase terroir in the wines. I was first introduced to biodynamic farming at Oz Farm in Point Arena, CA where I tasted a fabulous 2002 Porter-Bass Zinfandel that was made biodynamically. You can check out my tasting note on Cellar-Tracker by clicking here. It may sound like hooey, but I think there's something to it--or at least that's what my tastebuds tell me. And I approve of anything that is easier on the land and uses less chemical intervention.

If you want to find a biodynamic wine and participate in the event, or even just drink along in the comfort of your own home, it may take you longer than usual to find one of these wines. Many are produced in relatively small quantities. Jack and Joanne have provided an excellent list of vineyards who use biodynamic farming methods, so happy hunting and I'll see you back here in mid-January!


JHB said...

Nice reports on the biodynamic wines. I can add a bit on Rudolf Steiner, a nominal theosophist whose own unique approach he finally dubbed "anthroposophy", because it aims to restore a full sense of how the human being fits into the cosmos. Technically trained, like an 1870s MIT student, Steiner had "seen ghosts" as a child and wanted to find a scientific path to that experience. He developed a rigorous training of "imagination, inspiration, and intuition" on which all his work is based.

In his last year of life, 1924-5, already seriously ill, he agreed to meet for a week with German farmers devastated by artificial methods intensified during the world war. What he elaborated with them corresponds with many traditional practices, but was developed out of his own research. His other work that has gone mainstream includes Waldorf schools, Camphill Villages built around special needs, and an organic social activism generally called "threefolding". If you take "holistic" seriously, Steiner's work is totally aligned with that ideal. Judging by the comments, it even seems to come through in the wines.

Dr. Debs said...

Welcome, and thanks for the comment. He's very much a man of his times, with his interest in both science and the more spiritual side of human experience. I've been impressed with every biodynamic wine I've had (only had 3 different ones, so I'm on a steep learning curve), and really encourage everyone to go out and try one before they dismiss it!