April 22 is Earth Day, the perfect time to toast to Mother Earth with Biodynamic wines. Biodynamic agriculture is the most regenerative form of farming, bringing integrity and vitality to the vineyard, and its resulting wines. Healthier soil produces outstanding quality grapes and their resulting wines are the purest expression of the grape and the true essence of the winery’s terroir.
Why Biodynamic Wine?
- Biodynamic farming works in harmony with natural ecosystems to preserve and protect life’s diversity and species for future generations.
- Biodynamic farmers recognize that the health and well-being of the fields, forest, animals, soil, people, and all living things above and below the ground are integral parts that make up the whole.
- Biodynamic farming combines the wisdom of the past with a vision for the future – holistic farming that heals the soil.
- It is “regenerative farming,” leaving the land better than it was found by improving soil fertility and thus, farm vitality.
- Healthy crop production produces the finest grapes and optimal flavor profiles.
History of Biodynamic Farming
Often referred to as the “original organic,” the Biodynamic movement began in Europe in the 1920s as a response to the industrialization of farming. Instead of thinking of their farms as factories, farmers were encouraged to envision them as living organisms: self-contained and self-sustaining, following the cycles of nature. The term “organic” was coined years later from this original concept of the “farm as organism.” Biodynamic is the oldest eco-label, dating back to the late 20s. Demeter, now the worldwide certification agency for Biodynamic products, was formed by a group of farmers in 1928 to codify Biodynamic principles and practices in a Farm Standard, and to ensure its uniform adherence in the marketplace through certification. Named for the Greek goddess of agriculture, Demeter remains the oldest ecological certification organization in the world and operates in 65 countries around the world. Demeter is an independent, non-profit certification agency that has no corporate or government ties. For a wine to be referenced as “Biodynamic” in the marketplace, it must be Demeter certified. All of our Biodynamic wines are Demeter Certified and proudly display the logo on the bottle.
Rigorous Biodynamic Farm Standards
Biodynamic Certification ensures that any farm bearing the Demeter seal has met the Standard’s requirements. All of our winery partners’ land is certified organic as an initial foundation, and all of our Biodynamic wines contain 100% grapes that are certified organic and Biodynamic. The vineyards are managed as much as possible as a closed system — a self-sustaining living organism — so solutions for the farm’s vitality- fertility, soil health, disease and pest control- arise from the farm itself instead of being imported from the outside. Integrating livestock, building compost, and utilizing cover crops generate on-farm fertility and return nitrogen to the soil. These healthy practices work with cover crops and grazing pastures, creating vibrant carbon-sequestering soil, helping to mitigate the effects of global warming. As the land becomes healthier, the farm becomes more resilient, building a natural resistance to disease, pests, adverse weather events and climate change.
Biodynamic Preparations Remedy and Regenerate
Biodynamic farmers create their own on-farm remedies- called Biodynamic preparations- instead of importing chemicals. These “preps” are made from materials found on the farm, and improve soil microbiology and fertility, enliven compost, and improve crop photosynthesis. Animals are respected members of a Biodynamic farms, cared for in a way that supports their inherent health and the full expression of their nature. Biodynamic farmers are creative, respectful of the earth, and highly skilled. They observe, sense, and listen to their farm and work inventively with the dynamics of the land and nature to bring the vibrancy of their farm, and the resulting wines, to their full expression.
Artisan Processing & Minimal Intervention
There are specific Biodynamic processing standards set for wine. The intention of all the processing requirements is to allow the integrity of the agricultural ingredients to define the finished product, which equates to minimal processing for maximum nutrition, flavor, and quality. The resulting products are often recognized as “best in class” with wine critics from the US and abroad regularly recognizing Biodynamic wines as some of the best in the world. Biodynamic grape growing develops the vineyard’s greatest potential — allowing the vineyard to be the best it can be — creating a distinctive “taste of place” that shines through each and every glass.
Primary source: Demeter USA
Photos courtesy of Biodynamic Koyle Family Vineyards, Colchagua Valley, Santiago, Chile
Demeter Certified Biodynamic Wines for Earth Day
Our Biodynamic wines can be found at fine retailers and restaurants nationwide.
Proviva – Quality Biodynamic Wines of Argentina
Proviva’s philosophy perfectly mirrors Natural Merchants’ ideology: Organic, Biodynamic, Non-GMO, Vegan-Friendly, quality product with constant innovation and a true LOVE for nature–Viticulture for the Future.
The Mendoza Region with Argentina’s soil and climate lends itself to the production of the highest-quality Biodynamic wines.
Proviva is the first Argentine winery with nationwide distribution in the U.S. to obtain Organic & Biodynamic certification as well as Non-GMO Project verification, and is Fair for Life certified, committed to both social responsibility and fair trade labor practices.
Agrinatura – Fine Biodynamic Wines from Puglia, Italy
In the surroundings of Andria in the Puglia region of Italy, near Bari in Apulia, at an altitude of 250 meters a.s.l., lies the farm Giancarlo Ceci, named after the 8th generation winemaker. The vineyard is situated just above the famous Italy boot on the Adriatic Sea, an area that is perfectly suited for the production of fine wines.
Giancarlo Ceci with his brand Agrinatura was a pioneer in growing and marketing organic products and was one of the first certified organic producers in Italy, receiving USDA organic certification in 2006.
In December 2011 Giancarlo Ceci’s Agrinatura became Demeter Biodynamic Certified. The resulting award-winning wines are sold in the United States under the Parco Naturale label, made of traditional Italian grape varieties from Puglia.
Koyle Family Vineyards -Beautiful Biodynamic Wines of Chile
Viña Koyle was born from the tradition that the family Undurraga carry in their blood; a family dedicated to winemaking for more than 6 generations, started by Francisco Undurraga Vicuña in 1885.
In 2006, Alfonso Undurraga Mackenna bought the Los Lingues estate and immediately began with his son, Cristobal, to plant the mountains with red grape varieties, starting the story of Koyle Family Vineyards.
Koyle places their greatest effort on the expression and understanding of the vineyard. It is based on 3 pillars: man, place and environment. It is through a Biodynamic approach that they have found the best way to get intimately close to the expression of nature. Through achieving balance, unique wines are obtained that express the harmony found in unifying the cosmic and terrestrial world. The deep respect of the ecosystem, natural cycles and the dedication of human work are used to achieve these wines of excellence.