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A Toast to Biodynamic Wines

by Rona Berg

From the Botanist, a hip restaurant at the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver, to the rustic Tschuggen Grand Hotel in Arosa, Switzerland, the wine menus are changing. Now, more than ever, sommeliers and wine aficionados are pouring and drinking biodynamic wine.

Biodynamics is a form of sustainable agriculture that employs regenerative practices. Based on respect for the earth and the cycles of the moon, the goal is to reduce carbon emissions that can lead to climate change, improve water quality and employ biodiversity, so that waste in one area fuels another in an interdependent system.

Biodynamic wines are appealing, not only because of the way they’re grown, but because they taste really good. Plus, they’re free of added sulfites, sugars and additives. Frey Vineyards was the first organic and biodynamic winery in the U.S., and Parducci Winery Cellars, as well as Benziger, in California, are also well known for making biodynamic wines.

But there’s more. “Biodynamic agriculture works with the rhythm of the cosmos and the earthly rhythm,” says Eduardo Rincon, president of the Biodynamic Association of Mexico. “And the intention of working with those cycles is to employ good soil, good plants and a good soul—consciousness, or part of the intention we put into healing ourselves.”

In many ways, it overlaps with organic farming, as no synthetic pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers are used. But the philosophy behind it goes well beyond. It is a meld of astrology, homeopathy and mysticism, founded by Austrian philosopher and educator Rudolf Steiner, who also created the Steiner schools.

As global warming becomes a more pressing issue, biodynamic wines have become increasingly popular, and easier to find. And that’s something worth lifting a glass to!

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