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Biodynamic wine: you’ve heard the phrase at the dinner table and seen it on the shelves, but what exactly is it?
As a society we have more choice than ever about the kind of products we consume, and in an increasingly environmentally-conscious world people are understandably wanting more natural food and drink.
Organic, sustainable and other natural practices in the winemaking industry have been building traction over the last century, but this kind of wine is a different kettle of fish altogether. This process of winemaking follows an astrological calendar with the aim of being more sustainable and in tune with the Earth’s seasons. Over 700 vineyards across the world are now certified biodynamic. Find out more about this unusual type of wine and its origins below, and maybe even sample some from our fantastic range.
It differs from other types of organic, sustainable winemaking methods. According to the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association, producing this kind of wine is “a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, gardens, food production and nutrition.”
The philosophy of this winemaking process is that it views the vineyard as one complete organism, and all elements should work in tandem with one another.
The vineyard is seen as one complete organism and each individual element benefits the others. Natural materials are used to sustain it, and often animals will live on the land to fertilise the soil, and use of chemicals is forbidden.
It is guided by something called the biodynamic calendar, which is also used by gardeners and farmers. People who work by this calendar use astronomical factors such as lunar cycles to decide when to plant and harvest crops. There are specific days which are recommended to be best for different practices around the vineyard, which are:
The main governing body is Demeter. If the certification mark is on the front, that means the wine itself is certified. However if it’s on the back, the bottle comes from a biodynamic farm or estate. You can find all our wine clearly labelled in sections on our website, or if you come into our store our experts will be happy to tell you how each wine was made.
In many ways, it follows similar practices of sustainability to organic wine. However in the simplest sense, organic wine is made with organic grapes and using organic practices, whereas biodynamic practices incorporate other elements in the vineyard and are strongly influenced by external factors such as the lunar cycle.
On top of this, biodynamic practices prohibit the use of foreign or synthetic ingredients in either the growing or the making process, such as yeast.
Many experts believe that this wine is more representative than other types of the terroir of the area: so gets a complete picture of where the wine has been produced. If you’ve never sampled one before, be prepared for a cloudy look or a funky aroma. As there are no foreign ingredients, this often lends itself to more complex, intriguing and enjoyable wines.
There is ongoing discourse about what kind of winemaking results in a better bottle, but we all know wine is very subjective. Many people buy different types of wine simply because they want to experience a variety of tastes, textures, and ultimately experience everything the abundance of wine the world has to offer.
Everyone loves a good fun fact! Impress your dinner guests with not only the incredible wine you have to offer them but also your knowledge. Biodynamic farming involves lots of weird and wonderful practices, but there is one particular one that people find intriguing.
This practice is known as Preparation 500. It involves filling a cow horn with manure and burying it in the ground through the winter season. When it is dug up at the end of the season, the material inside it is spread out around the vineyard. According to farmers, this process helps stimulate the soil, dissolves minerals and encourages seed germination.
We work incredibly hard to source a diverse range of sustainable, delicious wines produced by all sorts of methods and that cater to different tastes and budgets.
Why not try our home grown Ancre Hill Estates wine? Made by some of the finest producers in Wales, their delightful Chardonnay has inviting notes of citrus twinned with grapefruit and just a hint of vanilla cream. A stunning red wine is the Marques De Caceres Ecologico Rioja which boasts a floral bouquet with lively red berry fruits. These beautiful, diverse wines are just a selection of our elegant collection.
We want all our customers to enjoy all varieties of wines, whatever their taste or budget. We’ve got more than 100 years of experience between us in the wine industry, so we are well equipped to advise.
We work exclusively with vineyard owners and wine producers, we work to build close working relationships and source only the highest quality wines. There’s simply no better place to buy wine online, and many of the products we stock you won’t find anywhere else in the UK.
We know that sometimes it’s hard to choose, which is why our friendly experts in our shop in Cardiff will always be happy to discuss with you what wine would suit you best. We also offer a fantastic array of vegan and organic wines. It can be overwhelming to choose when faced with such a diverse collection, which is why we also offer mixed cases, so let us do the hard work for you. Our experts can curate the perfect range to suit your tastes, and you’ll discover new and exciting wines in the process.