Biodynamic Viticulture - A Short Overview

Rudolph Steiner

Biodynamics is a method of organic farming—including but not limited to viticulture—that treats farms as unified and individual organisms. It seeks a sense of balance in emphasizing the holistic development and interrelatedness of soil, plants and animals as a closed and interdependent system, which flourishes as much as possible without external inputs.

Biodynamics is regarded as one of the more sustainable organic farming systems, and shares some techniques with other organic approaches—the use of manures and composts, along with the exclusion of artificial chemicals. Unique to Biodynamics is the use of fermented herbal and mineral preparations as compost-additives, as is the use of an astronomical calendar for planting vines.

Biodynamics grew out of the work of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), founder of the Anthroposophy movement—a spiritual philosophy whose epistemology is based upon the Weltanschauung of German poet Johann Wolfgang van Goethe.

Manure needs little introduction—though as a child I was taught to say instead “nature’s fertilizer”—but biodynamic compost preparations include yarrow blossoms, chamomile blossoms, stinging nettle, oak bark, dandelions and valerian.

The Biodynamic calendar takes into account not only lunar, planetary and solar cycles but also pinpoints Root Days, Flower Days, Leaf Days and Fruit Days—on which the lunar cycle favors development of those particular parts of the plant.

3 thoughts on “Biodynamic Viticulture - A Short Overview”

  • Thomas

    Thanks for the great info!

    Reply
  • I am not sure if you are going to love me or hate me, but either
    way you are going to be fascinated by my research that shows
    the science behind biodynamic wine making, finally proving how the
    methodology works scientifically. It will now be possible to dispense
    with all of the mysticism surrounding this process so that it can be
    taken up by more and more farmers who will be shown that the process
    follows very simple scientific principles.

    I have spent the past two years researching a book that looks at
    science from a slightly different angle, using existing peer reviewed
    double blind studies. The conclusions I have made will, I hope, be of
    great interest to the wine community.

    I am surprisingly giving away the book for free as I am very keen to
    get the message out to as many people as possible. You can download
    the book for free at www.blindedbyscience.co.uk . The chapters that are
    most relevant to biodynamic farming are the second chapter on the properties of water and the third chapter on the moon and the sun. Although to
    understand it fully you have to read the first chapter on vibrations as well.

    If you read also the chapters on magnetism and plants you will be
    amazed to discover that it is possible to improve a crops output by
    50% by using electromagnetic fields on seeds.

    If you would like to chat about any of the points that I raise in my
    book, then please feel free to contact me.

    Best wishes,

    Matthew Silverstone

    Reply
  • Winemonger

    We had this wine last night. It's showing great right now. Josef "Pepi" Umathum was one of the first winemakers in Austria to practice biodynamic viticulture following the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. More about Steiner here http://www.winemonger.com/catalog/winemonger-talk/biodynamic-farming-in-wine/2010/05/24/

    Reply
Leave a Reply