In a previous Youngberg Hill blog we discussed organic and sustainable farming. Today we will discuss biodynamic farming. Biodynamic farming is farming practices that provide a holistic foundation for growing products, including wine grapes. It is based on the studies of Pfeiffer and his work on natural farming. The basis of his work is farming practices that have been in practice for hundreds of years, prior to the industrial revolution and its effects on farming.
Biodynamic practices are a combination of balancing all live forms on the farm, using only products and processes from the farm on the farm, and executing those practices in time with nature. Let’s take each practice separately. Taking a balanced approach means that all life forms; animal, insect, & plant will exist in a natural balance on the property. With everything in harmony, good will balance out bad and the outcome will allow nature to keep everything healthy. The second is utilizing the natural resources on the farm of animal by-products (yes, I am referring to cow dung) and plants to assist in putting nutrition back in the soil and to the plants. Finally, executing the above in concert with the natural timing of nature. This may mean applying certain elements at particular times of the year, specific times of plant growth, or specific signs of the moon.
While some of these practices may seem a little unorthodox or “voodoo” as some have suggested, they are in essence man’s way to accelerate or emulate what mother nature does over a longer period of time. By working in concert with nature, we are more able to assist nature in keep the soil and plants healthy. Youngberg Hill has already seen improvements in the biodynamic practices we have in place. The vines are healthier and the grapes are more uniformed and more resistant to the elements. The idea of improving and raising the vitality of the soil and its produce gets us very excited. We want the vines to be doing better 50 years from now then they are today and with the ability to actively heal the soil we have aspirations of greatness at Youngberg Hill. Two certified biodynamic are Maysara and Brickhouse. Others practicing are Belle Pente, Montinore, Beaux Frere.
When your wine tasting would it matter to you if they farmed biodynamically? Would you pay more for a wine that is farmed this way?