So, how did it all start, and, why have some of the most important and influential wine producers in the world adopted this agricultural method?
Since that day, based on Steiners’ input, generations of farmers, gardeners and researchers have developed these methods.
The emphasis is on integration of plants and animals, recycling of nutrients, preserving and developing life in the soil, working with the natural cycles of the stars and the seasons, and the spiritual aspect that is incorporated into all of this.
The general goal is to enhance the health and vitality of the farm as a whole, including the farmer. The method is fantastic for viticulture and wine because vines have a distinct ability to express their environment through the grapes. When there is a living soil and the vines are not artificially manipulated, they can yield unique fruit that results in distinctive wines that cannot be mimicked. A wine that expresses the original and intimate relationship between the vines and their terroir.
Vines can capture their terroir through their roots – but for this the soil must be lively, vital and healthy. They can absorb their terroir through their leaves – but only if they are clear of synthetic chemicals that disrupt the true expression of the surrounding environment.
Work in the vineyard and the winery is scheduled according to the position of the moon and the stars, the time of year and the hour in the day. For this, an astronomical calendar was developed (and is updated each year) giving preferred timetables for specific operations.
Conventional science acknowledges the effect of the moon on tidal rhythms in the oceans. Biodynamic agriculture (as well as traditional agriculture) understand that plants, which are mostly composed of water, also react to the stages of its cycle.
Biodynamics is expressed similarly in the winery. The grapes are harvested at peak timing at which the fermentation will be ideal. Fermentation takes place spontaneously by indigenous yeast present on the grape skins, this too allows for maximum expression of the vineyard ecosystem. Nothing is added to our wines besides Sulphur dioxide (SO2) at a very low dosage, according to the organic and biodynamic standard.
We chose the Biodynamic method because it complements our feelings towards the land ever since we began working our vineyard. Our plots express terroirs that are unique within Israel, and Biodynamics allows us to truly express them.