Biodynamic farming is viewed with so much skepticism for its outlandish m.o. that many times it is denounced for being a practice of borderline witchcraft. Up until recently any designation such as Organic has been considered the “kiss of death,” a perception that has, prior to the past few years, been rooted in the lack of relevance by biodynamic products on the global market. This trend, combined with the scrutiny associated with the practice, has many new to the scene hesitant to sport the “Scarlet B” of biodynamism; however it should be noted that more wines are produced through biodynamic farming than you may realize.
As the green movement is in full swing across the U.S. and abroad, a common misconception is that biodynamics is a recent innovation which implies that there is no historical significance to justify the higher price of production and thus a higher price per bottle. The concept is no rookie to the game but its presence as a buzzword throughout the industry is still relatively green. Puns aside, there seems to be the need for a catalyst of sorts to compel consumers to buy biodynamic wine and presently the only reasonable candidate appears to be word of mouth.
I know, seems simple right?
The only problem is that the biggest voices are more inclined to stay hush, hush when it comes to sharing their opinion on the matter. In France, slapping a label of designation such as Organic or Biodynamic on a bottle is considered elitist by many. You won’t find many practicing BD farmers talking about burying manure-filled horns of a lactating cow during their sales pitch (see my previous BD post).
Nevertheless, it is important to take note of those who are currently not only practicing biodynamic viticulture but also excelling at a marvelous clip. La Tache, a monopole of the well renowned Domaine la Romanee Conti, is nearly completely farmed biodynamically and is widely regarded as one of the finest plots of land world-wide for producing Pinot Noir. Domaine Leroy, which is much acclaimed for producing some of the most concentrated and terroir-driven wines of the Cote d’Or has been practicing biodynamic farming for decades. Also 50% of the Grand Cru vineyards in Savenierres are farmed biodynamically (La Roche Aux Moines). And as mentioned before in the previous BD blog, there isn’t any empirical explanation to describe why biodynamic wine is so good, but it is just that.
It’s a long standing tradition around the world, but the movement is just in its youth in the U.S. and the only way to foster its growth is to start buying more BD wine. Not only is it good for your satisfaction but it’s also a win for the big blue marble that we all love and share. Now you won’t catch me out hugging trees or occupying Wall Street anytime soon but when it comes to spending an extra 5 greenbacks to help support an admirable cause, I’m all in.
- Chris Dunaway