What is biodynamic wine and how is it different from natural wine? First of all, there doesn't have to be a difference. A wine that is biodynamically (Demeter) certified can still be a natural wine(!), but doesn't have to be. How to tell the difference? Well, that's hard, you'll have to read a bit about the producer's cellar practices or, of course, ask your favorite wineshop. But first of all, what is biodynamic wine?
Biodynamic wines come from organic farming methods (employing compost as fertilizer and avoiding most pesticides) while also employing soil supplements prepared according to Rudolf Steiner's formulas, following a planting calendar that depends upon astrological configurations, and treating the earth as "a living and receptive organism." (Wikipedia)
The cycle of the moon plays a constant role in the vineyard- and winery work. And almost all inputs that are used in the vineyard, have to come from the domaine itself. Gaining more and more popularity (also from the top domaines) the small movement is growing rapidly. However, because of Steiner's teachings from the period just before WW2, some controversy remains as well. All in all, organic viticulture and a hightened awareness of your surroundings play an important role in biodynamics.
We generally like biodynamic farming because it tends to force the farmer to spend more time on the land, something we think benefits the wine in the end. From a non-scientific viewpoint, we also seem to experience that biodynamic wines often offer a bit more energy in the glass. However, that's hard to prove of course.
Is biodynamic wine natural wine?
Biodynamic wines aren't automatically natural wines because you can still use a lot of additives in the cellar and the same high maximum sulfur levels as in organic wine (see previous post). You can be assured, however, that when you drink biodyamic wines that you are drinking something that is pesticide free, from vineyards that are becoming healthier by the year and in the end will benefit the planet. 🌙
Markus Praat, founder at ASOP Wines