Spirit Cruises January 2023 Leaderboard

Biodynamic Wines: Growing Support for A New-Age Trend

by Melissa Auman Greiner on Jun 27, 2012 in Wine
Biodynamic Wines: Growing Support for A New-Age Trend

Green living has gone beyond trend status to a way of life for many of us, and while we aren't quite ready to join life on the commune anytime soon, most of us have a reusable shopping bag to our name, have purchased some organic fruits or veggies, and are putting that recycling bin behind the house to good use. Some of us have gone further, investing in alternative energies or nixing the car in favor of our own two feet. But how many of you have buried a cow horn filled of manure under a full moon? Really? No one?

Biodynamic Farming

Perhaps to your surprise, a number of earth-friendly vineyards have, just one step in a sometimes silly sounding eight-part process that is the heart of biodynamic farming. Based on the ideas of agriculture expert Rudolf Steiner, biodynamic theory began well before the organic movement - back in 1924. The approach not only takes on sustainable and green practices like organic farming, but adds in a spiritual element that considers the plants, soil, sun, and all other components of the space as a living being.

At the core is the preparations of biodynamic agriculture - steps the farmers must take at certain times of the year to strengthen the spirit of the land and encourage the growth, yield, and quality they desire. It all begins with burying cow manure in a cow horn in the dead of winter, then digging it up and spraying the mixture with water over the land beneath the afternoon sun. Yes, we know, it sounds a little bizarre. It actually gets even more unusual, with ground quartz, stag bladders, various flowers, and an animal skull all playing integral parts. But, according to the vineyards who are popularizing the return of these preparations, they are worth it for the finished product they provide.

Methods Show Results

Of course, those results are as hotly discussed as the methods. Some growers swear they have overcome disease and rot once starting biodynamic farming. Some say their soil is better, their plants are healthier, and they have little to no weeds or pests. Science has stepped in and attempted to test, but a study comparing a biodynamic farm and a classic organic farm didn't show any obvious difference.

Taste, however, may be the one big difference that biodynamic vintners have on their side. The wines that result from biodynamic grape crops constantly test well in tastings, often above their traditional counterparts. And a tasting run by Fortune magazine resulted in all of the Master Sommeliers in attendance selecting biodynamic wines over normal options.

That alone seems to have gotten the attention of the wine community, as both small boutique vineyards and larger producers worldwide have switched to, or at least begun experimenting with, biodynamic practices. They may not be feeling the zen, New Age spirit of Steiner as they sprinkle tea over the vines, but they are willing to try it.

Want to try it, too? The wines, that is — we’ll leave the sourcing of cow intestine to you. On the cusp of the trend, stores are stocking a decent number of biodynamic wines. Head into your friendly neighborhood shop and you will likely see a small display showcasing Danica and biodynamic options. Many bottles have the term "biodynamic" on the label, but other producers don't obviously advertise their farming techniques. A little fun on Google will help you find more options, many of which are in stores or available for order online. And the price for all this mystic madness won't cost you much green — bottles usually range from $13 to $50. Does it actually make for better vino? You be the judge.

Top photo via Organic Wine Journal on Facebook; middle photo via Flickr user stefano lubiana wines; bottom photo via Flickr user Danielle Speiss

Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
48 Record Bar: An Inside Look at an Audiophile's Listening Room & Cocktail Bar

48 Record Bar: An Inside Look at an Audiophile's Listening Room & Cocktail Bar

48 Record Bar is the newest addition to the growing Listening Room trend in Philadelphia...read more ›

by Drink Philly Feb 19, 2024
The Best Cocktail Bars in Philadelphia

The Best Cocktail Bars in Philadelphia

In a city with new bar openings every week, it can be hard to keep up with the everchanging Philly cocktail landscape. Don't worry, we've got you cove...read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 14, 2023
Best Bars for Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2023

Best Bars for Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2023

We've got your definitive list of where to drink outside in Philadelphia...read more ›

by Drink Philly May 27, 2023
SPONSORED
Spirit Cruises January 2023 Desktop Bottom Rectangle 1
Pamper Yourself at These Spas with Bars in Philadelphia

Pamper Yourself at These Spas with Bars in Philadelphia

Whether you're going solo or heading out with friends, we've got just the place for your to relax and enjoy a good drink...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Apr 5, 2023
The Best Mocktails, Zero Proof, & Non-Alcoholic Drinks in Philadelphia

The Best Mocktails, Zero Proof, & Non-Alcoholic Drinks in Philadelphia

Not drinking alcohol tonight? These bars and restaurants have you covered with inventive, thoughtful, and down...read more ›

by Michelle Cassidy Jan 11, 2023
Inflation Hits PA Wine & Spirits with 4% Price Increase Across 3,500 Products

Inflation Hits PA Wine & Spirits with 4% Price Increase Across 3,500 Products

The PLCB, announced that a 4% price increase would go into effect on 3,554 of its most popular wine and spirit...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 9, 2023
The Philly Distiller Who Got Laid Off and Moved to Hawaii to Make Gin

The Philly Distiller Who Got Laid Off and Moved to Hawaii to Make Gin

In this segment we speak to Olivia Babiec, the former Philadelphia Distiller who moved to Hawaii to make gin...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 5, 2023
Bars & Restaurants that Host Private Events in Philadelphia

Bars & Restaurants that Host Private Events in Philadelphia

Holidays, birthdays, weddings, or any private event - Philadelphia has you covered...read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 5, 2022
Where to Celebrate Philly Cider Week 2022, October 23-30

Where to Celebrate Philly Cider Week 2022, October 23-30

The fourth annual Philadelphia Cider Week is being celebrated from Sunday, October 23 through Sunday, October 30...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Oct 21, 2022
Enjoy Fall Weather & PA Ciders in a Historic Setting at CiderFest, October 15 & 16

Enjoy Fall Weather & PA Ciders in a Historic Setting at CiderFest, October 15 & 16

Fall is here and what better way to celebrate than at CiderFest at the historic Woodford Mansion in Fairmount ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Oct 13, 2022
SPONSORED
Spirit Cruises January 2023 Desktop Bottom Rectangle 2
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close