The profession of biologist helps me not only learn how to observe, but also elevates the imagination. With experience, this happens automatically – you establish a phenomenon and try to understand its essence. But making sense does not always work. For example, I do not always understand the physical meaning of the actions and rituals of biodynamic wines producers, but it is an excellent opportunity to dream up and to compare the facts.
Can biodynamic wines be outstanding?
This is how matters stand. When the grapevine is growing under the care of human, it does not expend its energy for self-protection. Consequently, as soon as the grapevine is left on its own, its hidden resources start to awake.
A vine has developed hormonal system. With the aid of long roots, the diverse set of trace elements extracts from the soil. Reaction to changing external conditions occurs in a matter of minutes. With the help of hormones plant synchronizes all vital processes in the vineyard – it tells its neighbors about the beginning of blossoming or warns about the pest attack to give members of the “grape-house cooperative” the time to prepare. In addition, there is multi-level protection system against pests. The consequences of attacks record in the memory of vine, in its tissues. Therefore, the next attack will be repulsed almost instantly - this is how real immune system works.
Organic farmers and biodynamic wine producers help grapevines to cope with pests, but the way they do it sometimes make people smile. In capacity of medicine for grape diseases you can see some exotic and unusual things. For example, those ones, originated in the cow’s horn which was dug in the ground in the vernal equinox, or remedy made of yarrow leaf wrapped in cow’s mesentery. Wow!
But we should not forget the fact that every substance on Earth has its own wave characteristics. And let’s think about an ultra low dilution, when just one molecule of an active ingredient puts in milliards molecules of water, and there still is a curative effect. And compost heaps! Great battles break out there!
To control weeds, row spacing is put with the plants, which actively extract some agents that stunt the growth of their neighbors.
And there is a great variety of tricks like that. But if you want to use them, you should have an extensive knowledge and suitable conditions on the vineyard. You should not force the sprinter to participate marathon, because they have different types of metabolism.
The high grade is to take into account the influence of the planets and primarily the Moon. All actions on the vineyard and in the winery are coupled with the lunar cycle. But it really works!
Probably, one of the most uncommon wineries, which live in conformity with the laws of the Universe, is the French Domaine Viret. The building of this winery was constructed in compliance with golden ratio parameters and according to the cannons of the Pyramids. On the vineyard and in its sub foundation there are six-tons stone columns – they work as aerials for the receiving information from cosmos. Even the analogues of Georgian Kvevries in wineries are made accurate to dimensions which are divisible by the numbers of golden ratio. Such a cosmic, fabulous universe! There even exists the registered trade mark which accentuates this special way of farming - Сosmoculture®.
I have familiarized with production of that “cosmic” winery on the stated meeting of the International Wine and Food Society Moscow Branch.
That time our meeting was held in the amazing place – on the island of toxicological safety, in the “Ecotochka” cafe in Moscow.
Composition of natural food and biodynamic wines is awesome! Just imagine the spelt (it is the sort of wild wheat) cooked with the rabbit meat served up with the sour cream sauce (it was an idea of our Chairman Leonid Gelibterman), accompanied by astonishingly complex and multifarious white Viognier (+ Clairette, Roussane, Maursanne) - Domaine Viret, Coudee D’or, AOC Cote du Rhone, 2012. The yield on the vineyard does not exceed 30 hectoliters per hectare. Fermentation carries out in oaks, and the aging occurs on the cold sludge. There quantity of sulfur is minimal, and filtration is only nominal. It is that rare case when a white wine is desirable to be opened in advance, it needs time to show itself in all its glory. During the evening it was transforming and changing flavors, all that was missing were to meditate!
And the red blend Domaine Viret Renaissace, 2011 was served with “byoriki” (meat dumplings), which are the national dish the Russian Kalmyk people, who were tribesmen of Genghis Khan. Natural meat aromas ran into light animal odors of wine. Unexpectedly soft tannins were perfect complement to the delicate texture of the dish.
Sulfur is a separate topic
Excluding classical additives in the process of wine production, the sulfur gets into the skin of grapes from the vineyard with soil elements during the decomposition of proteins, or after oak treatment. So, the sulfur compounds are always contained in wine, and there is only a question of quantity. Biodynamic wine contains 2-4 times less sulfur than the other wines. Sometimes biodynamic wine producers do not use it at all. But protection from microbial contaminations and oxidation is still necessary, so the question of whether it is possible to make quality wine using biodynamic methods remains.
And we have just to enjoy rare finds. And it was precisely what happened!
Author: Irina Godunova, Deputy Chairman of IWFS Moscow Branch