What makes biodynamic wines so special?
The work of Demeter winegrowers is characterised by attentiveness and responsibility. It is not only about the production of good quality wines, but also about the preservation of a whole ecosystem and its characteristics. Preventive plant protection measures, good knowledge of the local conditions and microclimate, and a lot of manual work form the basis for reducing the measures later in the wine cellar during vinification to the bare minimum. Demeter vintners do not produce wine, they accompany it. In this way the spectrum of aromas, from location and vintage, can unfold optimally and the wine can develop its authentic character. In 2019 33 wineries from France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Chile and Argentina were present at the Prowein Fair which shows the diversity and presence of biodynamic wines worldwide.
The secret of biodynamic wines relies in the work in the vineyard. Demeter winegrowers regard their vineyards as ecosystems, as a living organism. Instead of a monoculture, the greatest possible diversity of plants and insects is sought to create a balanced and stable environment for the vine. Demeter viticulture is much more than a guaranteed renunciation of chemical synthetic pesticides. On the contrary: the winegrower gives back more to the vineyard than he takes away from it through harvesting and cultivation. The soil is the "treasure chest" of every Demeter vineyard. Therefore, biodynamic winegrowers are particularly careful with it. They make sure that the humus layer grows continuously, so that their vineyard can withstand both droughts and heavy rainfall, and that a variety of micro-organisms settle in it, which are important for the expression of aroma in wine.
Demeter winegrowers love their vineyards and treat them with respect. The work with the biodynamic preparations clearly reflects this attitude. Few plants react as sensitively to the application of the biodynamic preparations and the attentive human hand as the grapevine. Few products allow consumers to experience biodynamic farming as powerfully as wine. Therefore, premium quality wineries worldwide use biodynamic viticulture methods. They notice that the bond between vine and soil intensifies with the application of these methods leading to increased character in their wines. Demeter vintners look closely at how the plants are doing and take responsibility for their well-being. In return they present the vines year after year with authentic wines that clearly reflect their uniqueness.
For biodynamic winegrowers, quality is created in the vineyard. Because unlike most farmers, organic winegrowers are usually also producers, processing their grapes themselves. They decide what goes on in the cellar or not – which is the exciting part of winemaking. Since spontaneous fermentation is now spreading among biodynamic winegrowers, what happens outside has a significant influence on the fermentation process and the wines. If you do it right on the vine, things tend to be more relaxed in the cellar; if you have the right yeasts, you can give the wine time. The result is well-rested, powerful, individual wines, even when they are young, and it is always exciting to see what the coming year will bring - this is what unites winemakers and wine lovers.
“Our task is to encourage and guide the plant: only by protecting the soil’s fertility will we obtain a well-balanced vine that is resistant and able to respond better to the extreme climatic conditions of these recent years. As we taste the biodynamic wines, we are able to perceive their essence and energy. These wines will never leave us.”
Elisabetta Foradori, Demeter winemaker at Agricola Foradori, Italy (in the photo)