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Looking Up To Make Sense Of The Roots Below, Biodynamic Winemaking Around The World
With the Mid Autumn Festival having just passed, we find ourselves still captivated by the enchanting presence of the moon. While we hope everyone enjoyed the festivities with friends and family, we want to take a moment to explore the fascinating connection between the moon and the winemaking process. In this blog post, we dive into the world of biodynamic winemaking, where the moon plays a crucial role in nurturing the vines and enhancing the quality of the wine we savour. So, grab a glass of your favourite wine and join us as we explore the world of biodynamic winemaking under the moonlit sky.
The Magic of Biodynamic Winemaking:
Biodynamic winemaking is an organic and holistic approach that embraces the harmony of nature's cycles. Just as the Mid Autumn Festival celebrates the unity of family and the beauty of the moon, biodynamic winemakers believe that the moon's influence on the earth's rhythms impacts the vitality of the vineyard. By understanding and respecting these natural rhythms, winemakers aim to produce wines that truly reflect the terroir and express the unique character of the vineyard.
Beyond the influence of the moon, biodynamic winemaking embraces a broader ecological perspective. It encourages biodiversity by incorporating companion planting, cover crops, and beneficial insect habitats to create a balanced ecosystem within the vineyard.
Continue reading for a great bundle offer on biodynamic wines after we inspect further some specific Biodynamic winemaking practices:
Biodynamic winemakers follow the lunar calendar and consider celestial rhythms when planning vineyard activities. They align tasks such as planting, pruning, and harvesting with specific lunar phases and zodiac signs believed to have an impact on vine growth and grape quality.
An example in practice, is at Journey’s End winery in Stellenbosch where head winemaker Mike Dawson observes the cycle of the moon to select optimal time for harvesting with its different phases said to enhance the concentration of flavour and emphasise ripening of the grape.
Image source: mobilemarketingreads.comBiodynamic Preparations:
Biodynamic winemakers use preparations made from natural materials to enhance soil fertility and stimulate plant vitality. These preparations include herbal teas, compost preparations, and fermented manure preparations, which are applied to the vineyard at specific times of the year.
At Haras De Pirque winery, biodynamic preparations are incorporated into their viticulture, with head winemaker Renzo Cotarella ensuring the soil management for the Albis Red Blend wine is carried out exclusively by machine without the use of herbicides, while fertilisation is made with completely natural compost compounds.
Image source: biodynamics.com
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management
Biodynamic vineyards focus on promoting biodiversity by planting cover crops, incorporating hedgerows, and creating diverse habitats for beneficial insects and wildlife. This encourages a balanced ecosystem within the vineyard, reducing the need for synthetic pesticides and fostering natural pest control.
At the renowned Louis Roederer winery in Champagne, head winemaker Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon plants cover crops, establishes wildflower meadows to preserve natural habitats within and around the vineyard. This attracts beneficial insects, birds and other wildlife fostering a healthy ecosystem and reducing the need for chemical intervention producing a pure and uninhibited final wine.
Grab a bottle of Biodynamic 2015 Louis Roederer Carte Blanche here now!
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One of the most well-known biodynamic preparations known as Preparation 500, involves filling cow horns with cow manure and burying them in the ground over the winter. This preparation is believed to enhance soil structure, microbial activity, and nutrient absorption.
At Chakana winery, preparation 500 is used by head winemaker Gabriel Bloise to enhance soil fertility, stimulate plant growth and root development with the unique shape and hollowness of the cow horn providing the ideal vessel for natural remedy aimed at producing concentrated and high quality fruit.
Purchase the Chakana Bonarda here now!
Image Source: wineandmore.com
By incorporating these practices and more, biodynamic winemakers aim to create a holistic, sustainable, and interconnected approach to winemaking that respects the land, the vine, and the environment.
It is a philosophy that seeks to produce wines that reflect the unique qualities of the vineyard while nurturing a sense of harmony between nature and the winemaking process. So while this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival comes to a close, we hope everyone can look forward to the next full moon with a better appreciation of how it can influence the wine in your glass.
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