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Thread: Biodynamic wines

  1. #1
    Lawrence Leichtman Guest

    Default Biodynamic wines

    We have decided for our small tasting group of 8 to go for a tasting
    night of all biodynamic wines. Unfortunately, I can't find any way to
    get lists of biodynamic wines as wineries sometimes list that as a
    keyword to search and many don't. I have one on the radar that I have
    had a total of one bottling that being the Ampelos Syrah 2006. Any other
    thoughts would be appreciated as I know that many French wineries are
    going the biodynamic route. Would also be interested in finding wineries
    that were not but now are biodynamic and compare their wines pre and
    post biodynamic vitaculture methods. Biodynamic and sustainable are
    probably the way many of the vineyards will need to survive long run in
    a degrading climate and one poor in resources.

  2. #2
    James Silverton Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines

    Lawrence wrote on Sun, 01 Mar 2009 12:37:09 -0500:

    > We have decided for our small tasting group of 8 to go for a
    > tasting night of all biodynamic wines. Unfortunately, I can't
    > find any way to get lists of biodynamic wines as wineries


    Please define "biodynamic"? It does not make much sense to me tho'
    perhaps it's a buzz word of some sort.
    --

    James Silverton
    Potomac, Maryland

    Email, with obvious alterations: not.jim.silverton.at.verizon.not


  3. #3
    Mike Tommasi Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines

    James Silverton wrote:
    > Lawrence wrote on Sun, 01 Mar 2009 12:37:09 -0500:
    >
    >> We have decided for our small tasting group of 8 to go for a
    >> tasting night of all biodynamic wines. Unfortunately, I can't
    >> find any way to get lists of biodynamic wines as wineries

    >
    > Please define "biodynamic"? It does not make much sense to me tho'
    > perhaps it's a buzz word of some sort.


    James

    biodynamic farming is defined on the sites of the organizations that can
    offer certification for this method.

    Lawrence, many wineries have a symbolic small parcel being cultivated as
    biodynamic (it may or may not be recognized as such by a certifying
    organization), and this qualifies them for the various lists that have
    been compiled... so they get the good marketing vibes, but there is not
    much behind it... truly certified biodynamic producers whose biodynamic
    wines you may find on the market are far fewer.

    For France, try Chapoutier, Frick, Ostertag, Coulée de Serrant, Domaine
    de Marcoux, Chateau Falfas, Chateau Romanin.

    For Champagne, try Bedel, Boulard, Fleury, Gautherot, Lahaye,
    Larmandier-Bernier, Léclapart, Leclerc Briant, Bruno Michel, Franck Pascal.


    --
    Mike Tommasi - Six Fours, France
    email link http://www.tommasi.org/mymail

  4. #4
    Lawrence Leichtman Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines

    In article <goeieh$odr$[email protected]>,
    "James Silverton" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Lawrence wrote on Sun, 01 Mar 2009 12:37:09 -0500:
    >
    > > We have decided for our small tasting group of 8 to go for a
    > > tasting night of all biodynamic wines. Unfortunately, I can't
    > > find any way to get lists of biodynamic wines as wineries

    >
    > Please define "biodynamic"? It does not make much sense to me tho'
    > perhaps it's a buzz word of some sort.


    Biodynamic is a type of viticulture that uses phases of the moon, a
    specific pattern of herbal plantings and things like burying manure in
    cow horns, + no herbicides, etc. It isn't a buzzword but is being used
    more. It can be used in tandem with sustainable viticulture but
    sustainable viticulture still can use Roundup etc.

  5. #5
    DaleW Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines

    On Mar 1, 12:37*pm, Lawrence Leichtman <la...@lleichtman.org> wrote:
    > *We have decided for our small tasting group of 8 to go for a tasting
    > night of all biodynamic wines. Unfortunately, I can't find any way to
    > get lists of biodynamic wines as wineries sometimes list that as a
    > keyword to search and many don't. I have one on the radar that I have
    > had a total of one bottling that being the Ampelos Syrah 2006. Any other
    > thoughts would be appreciated as I know that many French wineries are
    > going the biodynamic route. Would also be interested in finding wineries
    > that were not but now are biodynamic and compare their wines pre and
    > post biodynamic vitaculture methods. Biodynamic and sustainable are
    > probably the way many of the vineyards will need to survive long run in
    > a degrading climate and one poor in resources.


    A few bioD wineries (in roughly ascending price order!)

    Clos Roche Blanche
    Bonterra
    Brocard
    Ch. Ste. Anne
    Kreydenweiss
    Gravner
    Huet
    Zind-Humbrecht
    Lafarge
    Lafon
    Domaine Leflaive
    Leroy
    DRC

    I've seen some websites with lists, but usually combo of organic and
    BioD.
    As noted before, I think Steiner was a bit of a nut, and can't swallow
    many of the more ...er....esoteric practices. But believe the sheer
    dedication required to farm biodynamically is an indication of a
    caring grower.



  6. #6
    Lawrence Leichtman Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Mike Tommasi <[email protected]> wrote:

    > James Silverton wrote:
    > > Lawrence wrote on Sun, 01 Mar 2009 12:37:09 -0500:
    > >
    > >> We have decided for our small tasting group of 8 to go for a
    > >> tasting night of all biodynamic wines. Unfortunately, I can't
    > >> find any way to get lists of biodynamic wines as wineries

    > >
    > > Please define "biodynamic"? It does not make much sense to me tho'
    > > perhaps it's a buzz word of some sort.

    >
    > James
    >
    > biodynamic farming is defined on the sites of the organizations that can
    > offer certification for this method.
    >
    > Lawrence, many wineries have a symbolic small parcel being cultivated as
    > biodynamic (it may or may not be recognized as such by a certifying
    > organization), and this qualifies them for the various lists that have
    > been compiled... so they get the good marketing vibes, but there is not
    > much behind it... truly certified biodynamic producers whose biodynamic
    > wines you may find on the market are far fewer.
    >
    > For France, try Chapoutier, Frick, Ostertag, Coulée de Serrant, Domaine
    > de Marcoux, Chateau Falfas, Chateau Romanin.
    >
    > For Champagne, try Bedel, Boulard, Fleury, Gautherot, Lahaye,
    > Larmandier-Bernier, Léclapart, Leclerc Briant, Bruno Michel, Franck Pascal.


    Thanks Mike, this is what I am looking for.

  7. #7
    pavane Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines


    "Lawrence Leichtman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    | We have decided for our small tasting group of 8 to go for a tasting
    | night of all biodynamic wines. Unfortunately, I can't find any way to
    | get lists of biodynamic wines as wineries sometimes list that as a
    | keyword to search and many don't. I have one on the radar that I have
    | had a total of one bottling that being the Ampelos Syrah 2006. Any other
    | thoughts would be appreciated as I know that many French wineries are
    | going the biodynamic route. Would also be interested in finding wineries
    | that were not but now are biodynamic and compare their wines pre and
    | post biodynamic vitaculture methods. Biodynamic and sustainable are
    | probably the way many of the vineyards will need to survive long run in
    | a degrading climate and one poor in resources.

    Here is a master list of 521 wineries that practice to one degree or
    another biodynamic winemaking:
    http://www.forkandbottle.com/wine/bi..._producers.htm

    pavane



  8. #8
    Mike Tommasi Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines

    DaleW wrote:

    > As noted before, I think Steiner was a bit of a nut,


    yes, certifiable him too :-)

    and can't swallow
    > many of the more ...er....esoteric practices. But believe the sheer
    > dedication required to farm biodynamically is an indication of a
    > caring grower.


    Yes, I have given up on trying to fight the esoterica, but the results
    are good, with no causal link to the methods involved, but the people
    who practice it tend to work their grapes and wines with care and come
    up with good wines

    FYI, the horn in which you bury the compost to make preparation 501 must
    come from a cow that has birthed at least once. :-|
    Preparation 502 uses a yarrow flowers in a deer's bladder, because to
    quote Steiner "the bladder of the deer is connected to the forces of the
    cosmos, in fact, it is almost an image of the cosmos. So we ascribe to
    the yarrow the power to increase the forces that it already possesses,
    to combine it with sulfur and other substances". Of course.

    BTW, an odd thing, the Demeter biodynamic certification agency defines
    practices that are allowed and not allowed. Funny how, after worrying
    about the influence of the planets and the moon, you are stil lallowed
    to harvest mechanically, chaptalize, add tartaric acid, add commerial
    yeast cultures, and the use of SO2 up to 140 mg/l for whites and 110
    mg/l for reds. The latter is shocking, as these levels are very high
    and only about 33% lower than what standard EU wine regulations define.
    See
    http://www.demeter.it/assets/images/...11.2008(1).pdf
    for italian language specs...

    Mike

    --
    Mike Tommasi - Six Fours, France
    email link http://www.tommasi.org/mymail

  9. #9
    Martin Field Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines


    "Mike Tommasi" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    > DaleW wrote:
    >
    >> As noted before, I think Steiner was a bit of a nut,

    >
    > yes, certifiable him too :-)
    >

    snip


    > BTW, an odd thing, the Demeter biodynamic certification agency defines
    > practices that are allowed and not allowed. Funny how, after worrying
    > about the influence of the planets and the moon, you are stil lallowed to
    > harvest mechanically, chaptalize, add tartaric acid, add commerial yeast
    > cultures, and the use of SO2 up to 140 mg/l for whites and 110 mg/l for
    > reds. The latter is shocking, as these levels are very high and only
    > about 33% lower than what standard EU wine regulations define.
    > See
    > http://www.demeter.it/assets/images/...11.2008(1).pdf
    > for italian language specs...
    >
    > Mike
    >

    Hi Mike, Dale - yes, I have no problems with biodynamic wines I've tried
    but I wonder about some of Rudolph Steiner's fifth astral plane beliefs.
    Here's an article that looks at the wines and the beliefs as a whole.
    Spooky!
    http://www.sfweekly.com/2008-11-19/n...-on-the-vine/1

    Cheers!
    Martin



  10. #10
    IanH Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines

    Hi Lawrence,

    On Sun, 01 Mar 2009 12:37:09 -0500, Lawrence Leichtman
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >thoughts would be appreciated as I know that many French wineries are
    >going the biodynamic route.


    There are two certifying agencies that I know of in France. Demeter,
    which is generalist and covers all types of agriculture, and Biodyvin
    which is restricted to winemakers.

    If you can dig out the winemakers from Demeter's web site you're doing
    well. However there's complete list of Biodyvin adherents here linked
    from here. http://www.biodyvin.com/index2.php They're all French of
    course.

    They have an annual "primeur" tasting and I've been to the last two,
    because a couple of my friends have used my services as a translator
    and invited me to say thanks.

    I have to say that I find Steiner's reasoning utter hogwash. However,
    I find the claims by hard headed winemakers about the results that
    they get from using the methods to be hard to dismiss. These are
    people whose livelyhood comes from being able to taste their wines and
    assess them. I find it increasingly unlikely that it's some kind of
    mass hysteria.

    Do you know how to get in touch with me? www at souvigne dot com is my
    web site and you can use that to send me an email. I have in front of
    me the tasting booklet for 2007. My notes are illegible, (just as well
    as they're brief in the extreme) but you will find contact details for
    all the exhibitors as well as some bumph about what they do. Some may
    even say how long they've been doing it. I'll be only too pleased to
    send it to you so you can make such use of it as you feel like.
    --
    All the best
    Fatty from Forges

  11. #11
    IanH Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines

    On Sun, 01 Mar 2009 12:37:09 -0500, Lawrence Leichtman
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    having said they are all French

    "Le Domaine Dr. Bürklin-Wolf se dévoue depuis longtemps déjà aux
    aspects écologiques et historiques de la viticulture. En 2003 deux
    chevaux ont recommencé avec le travail dans le vignoble. Il a entamé
    une reconversion en bio-dynamie à partir de 2001. Au début de l’année
    2005 a eu lieu la conversion totale de la surface vignoble cultivée
    vers la viticulture bio-dynamique."

    Which explains that Bürklin-Wolf in Rheinpfalz has been entirely
    biodynamic since 2005. Sorry about that.

    --
    All the best
    Fatty from Forges

  12. #12
    Dee Randall Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines


    "pavane" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:CmCql.2176$[email protected]..
    >
    > "Lawrence Leichtman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]..
    > | We have decided for our small tasting group of 8 to go for a tasting
    > | night of all biodynamic wines. Unfortunately, I can't find any way to
    > | get lists of biodynamic wines as wineries sometimes list that as a
    > | keyword to search and many don't. I have one on the radar that I have
    > | had a total of one bottling that being the Ampelos Syrah 2006. Any other
    > | thoughts would be appreciated as I know that many French wineries are
    > | going the biodynamic route. Would also be interested in finding wineries
    > | that were not but now are biodynamic and compare their wines pre and
    > | post biodynamic vitaculture methods. Biodynamic and sustainable are
    > | probably the way many of the vineyards will need to survive long run in
    > | a degrading climate and one poor in resources.
    >
    > Here is a master list of 521 wineries that practice to one degree or
    > another biodynamic winemaking:
    > http://www.forkandbottle.com/wine/bi..._producers.htm
    >
    > pavane
    >



    Thanks, pavane.
    Dee Dee



  13. #13
    graham Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines


    "IanH" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    > Hi Lawrence,
    >
    > >

    > I have to say that I find Steiner's reasoning utter hogwash. However,
    > I find the claims by hard headed winemakers about the results that
    > they get from using the methods to be hard to dismiss. These are
    > people whose livelyhood comes from being able to taste their wines and
    > assess them. I find it increasingly unlikely that it's some kind of
    > mass hysteria.
    >


    Hogwash is mild in comparison to what I think!!!
    Surely any talented vigneron who takes extra-special care of his vineyards
    and employs "organic" methods, should get similar results without the barmy
    BD beliefs.
    Graham



  14. #14
    Lawrence Leichtman Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines

    In article <[email protected]>,
    IanH <[email protected]> wrote:

    > index2


    I read the site what I could but my French is very poor.

  15. #15
    Lawrence Leichtman Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Mike Tommasi <[email protected]> wrote:

    > DaleW wrote:
    >
    > > As noted before, I think Steiner was a bit of a nut,

    >
    > yes, certifiable him too :-)
    >
    > and can't swallow
    > > many of the more ...er....esoteric practices. But believe the sheer
    > > dedication required to farm biodynamically is an indication of a
    > > caring grower.

    >
    > Yes, I have given up on trying to fight the esoterica, but the results
    > are good, with no causal link to the methods involved, but the people
    > who practice it tend to work their grapes and wines with care and come
    > up with good wines
    >
    > FYI, the horn in which you bury the compost to make preparation 501 must
    > come from a cow that has birthed at least once. :-|
    > Preparation 502 uses a yarrow flowers in a deer's bladder, because to
    > quote Steiner "the bladder of the deer is connected to the forces of the
    > cosmos, in fact, it is almost an image of the cosmos. So we ascribe to
    > the yarrow the power to increase the forces that it already possesses,
    > to combine it with sulfur and other substances". Of course.
    >
    > BTW, an odd thing, the Demeter biodynamic certification agency defines
    > practices that are allowed and not allowed. Funny how, after worrying
    > about the influence of the planets and the moon, you are stil lallowed
    > to harvest mechanically, chaptalize, add tartaric acid, add commerial
    > yeast cultures, and the use of SO2 up to 140 mg/l for whites and 110
    > mg/l for reds. The latter is shocking, as these levels are very high
    > and only about 33% lower than what standard EU wine regulations define.
    > See
    > http://www.demeter.it/assets/images/...inificazione%2
    > 0demeter%20definitivo%2003.11.2008(1).pdf
    > for italian language specs...
    >
    > Mike


    I read that and was quite surprised as I thought they were all about
    organic farming, purity, etc.

  16. #16
    Lawrence Leichtman Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines

    In article
    <49ab0246$0$4212$[email protected]>,
    "Martin Field" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "Mike Tommasi" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]..
    > > DaleW wrote:
    > >
    > >> As noted before, I think Steiner was a bit of a nut,

    > >
    > > yes, certifiable him too :-)
    > >

    > snip
    >
    >
    > > BTW, an odd thing, the Demeter biodynamic certification agency defines
    > > practices that are allowed and not allowed. Funny how, after worrying
    > > about the influence of the planets and the moon, you are stil lallowed to
    > > harvest mechanically, chaptalize, add tartaric acid, add commerial yeast
    > > cultures, and the use of SO2 up to 140 mg/l for whites and 110 mg/l for
    > > reds. The latter is shocking, as these levels are very high and only
    > > about 33% lower than what standard EU wine regulations define.
    > > See
    > > http://www.demeter.it/assets/images/...0vinificazione
    > > %20demeter%20definitivo%2003.11.2008(1).pdf
    > > for italian language specs...
    > >
    > > Mike
    > >

    > Hi Mike, Dale - yes, I have no problems with biodynamic wines I've tried
    > but I wonder about some of Rudolph Steiner's fifth astral plane beliefs.
    > Here's an article that looks at the wines and the beliefs as a whole.
    > Spooky!
    > http://www.sfweekly.com/2008-11-19/n...-on-the-vine/1
    >
    > Cheers!
    > Martin


    The initial part of this is just plain tarot card reading/astrology nuts
    to me. The whole idea was to see if we could tell a difference between
    non-biodynamic and biodynamic wines from the same vintner. Are there any
    US vintners who do both?

  17. #17
    Lawrence Leichtman Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines

    In article <CmCql.2176$[email protected]>,
    "pavane" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > producers.htm


    That list was just what I needed. There are many who do both so this may
    end being an interesting tasting. We have now combined with a slightly
    larger group for this idea so we are now up to 24 people total.

  18. #18
    IanH Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines

    Hi Graham,

    On Sun, 1 Mar 2009 17:41:03 -0700, "graham" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> I have to say that I find Steiner's reasoning utter hogwash. However,
    >> I find the claims by hard headed winemakers about the results that
    >> they get from using the methods to be hard to dismiss. These are
    >> people whose livelyhood comes from being able to taste their wines and
    >> assess them. I find it increasingly unlikely that it's some kind of
    >> mass hysteria.
    >>

    >
    >Hogwash is mild in comparison to what I think!!!
    >Surely any talented vigneron who takes extra-special care of his vineyards
    >and employs "organic" methods, should get similar results without the barmy
    >BD beliefs.


    BD vignerons say that's not the whole answer.I fully accept that there
    are going to be a proportion of charlatans trying to jump on the
    bandwagon, and also a number of people suffering from self delusion.
    But remember that changing over to BD methods is not going to take
    place quickly. I think you'll find a number of them have started with
    moving to organic methods, and then moved on. I don't know their wines
    well enough to make any claims myself, but if you take the time to
    listen with care to what THEY say, they are pretty well united in
    saying that their vines are healthier and their wines are more
    "focussed" and show the terroir better.

    I don't pretend to undestand why swirling water around with nmanure
    that's been buried in cow horns and then diluting it to near
    homeopathic levels should have an effect on anything, but when a VERY
    experienced vigneron says " This horn manure is extraordinary and it
    will transform the wine! In two or three years, the terroir of the
    plot emerges again, and all the soil tests carried out show a very
    significant increase in root dfensity and depth. Hardly astonishing,
    therefore that the wines are diifferent." at least we should be
    prepared to say "odd I wonder what's going on", rather than dissmiss
    the whole thing as nonsense. Don't you think it's pretty arrogant to
    say that because WE don't understand something it can't be so?

    Maybe we will find out one day what's going on, rather in the way
    that at one time no one had a clue what was happening during
    fermatation, and came up with the most far fetched proposals. Yet it
    happened and it worked.

    I've no intention - personally - of only buying BD wines, or anything
    like that. But I will conmtinue to listen with interest to what
    winemakers say, whether BD, organic or "traditional".
    --
    All the best
    Fatty from Forges

  19. #19
    DaleW Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines

    On Mar 2, 5:39*pm, Lawrence Leichtman <la...@lleichtman.org> wrote:
    >
    > The initial part of this is just plain tarot card reading/astrology nuts
    > to me. The whole idea was to see if we could tell a difference between
    > non-biodynamic and biodynamic wines from the same vintner. Are there any
    > US vintners who do both?


    The problem of course is that even if same vintner makes wine, there's
    a different vineyard. You can't really compare wines in a way to say
    "this is what BioD does":

    If a producer switches to BD, and you compare before and after, you
    have different vintages at different ages
    If a producer makes one vineyard "straight" and one is farmed BioD,
    then there is the difference in terroir, plus handling issues, etc
    (most BD people are pretty fervent, I'd assume in most cases these are
    purchased grapes)

    Still, will be interesting what your results are.


  20. #20
    Richard Neidich Guest

    Default Re: Biodynamic wines

    Shafer Vineyards is biodynamic. I was there last week and toured. Nice
    wines too :-)


    "Lawrence Leichtman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    > We have decided for our small tasting group of 8 to go for a tasting
    > night of all biodynamic wines. Unfortunately, I can't find any way to
    > get lists of biodynamic wines as wineries sometimes list that as a
    > keyword to search and many don't. I have one on the radar that I have
    > had a total of one bottling that being the Ampelos Syrah 2006. Any other
    > thoughts would be appreciated as I know that many French wineries are
    > going the biodynamic route. Would also be interested in finding wineries
    > that were not but now are biodynamic and compare their wines pre and
    > post biodynamic vitaculture methods. Biodynamic and sustainable are
    > probably the way many of the vineyards will need to survive long run in
    > a degrading climate and one poor in resources.




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