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« "Sweet Cravings": Adventures in writing my first cookbook | Main | Turn Me On, Muffin! »

Biodynamic Wine: A Trip for the Mind & Palate


I hear you. You might be sick and tired of people saying, organic this or non-GMO that. Or how pesticides are killing the honeybees, getting in our livers, and causing cancers, autoimmune diseases, and autism.

But it's true, it's happening, and we need to do something about it. So now I’m about to mention something that you may have never heard before:  a farming practice called biodynamics.  

The practice is entirely fascinating, and takes organic farming to a whole new level.  The essence of biodynamics is that the As seen in Women's Lifestyle Magazine, April 2013 Editionfarm is not just a farm. It’s an organism that is completely self-sustaining, producing its own animal feed and manure, and supports a diverse ecosystem of predator, prey, bird and insect populations. Much like oriental medicine sees the human body as a holistic system, biodynamic farming views plant or animal disease as a symptom of an imbalance in the whole farm, not a single problem to be cured with a “drug”.  Get this:  the farm can also be in or out of balance with the cycles of the moon and planets.  

There is a time to reap, and a time to sow. There is a proper balance of soil and rotation of crops. The plants, animals, the soil and even the farmer are all part of the bigger whole. The same cosmic page. On the same, crazy, tree-hugging trip.

Nutty Idea?  Brilliant?  Or Simply Practical?


Before you dismiss biodynamics as a nutty idea, let’s discuss wine.  In 2004, Fortune Magazine put together a panel of wine experts to test the claims of biodynamic wines. The test was blind, so they had no idea what they were testing. They found that the biodynamic mix of homeopathy, astrology and organic grape growing, produces a better product than regular ‘ole grape growing does. 


Here’s an excerpt from that article:

“Out of ten pairs of wines, only one of the conventionally made wines was judged superior to its biodynamic counterpart. Says Doug Frost, a Master of Wine and Master Sommelier: "The biodynamic movement seems like latent '60s acid-trip-inspired lunacy--until you taste the wines." “

~Taken from:  “Moonshine, Part 2: A blind sampling of 20 wines shows that biodynamics works. But how?”

Is there a Better Way?

Austrian philosopher Dr. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) is credited as being the founder of biodynamic farming, and inspires a certain amount of controversy because of some of his ideas.  But it leaves one to wonder if he isn’t just another brilliant guy who is bringing us back to the laws of physics that existed long before the modern manipulation of the planet. It also leaves us to wonder how much human disease there would be if we listened a little more to how the earth wants to be treated, rather than try to pound the bugs, plants and animals into submission.

OK. Back to wine. Biodynamic wine is becoming more popular. Experts agree that when you get a truly biodynamic wine, you know that it is made without pesticides or chemical processing, and that you will most likely taste the flavors, smell the aromas, and feel the textures of the area where the grapes are grown, or what they call the “terroir.”

One of my favorite vineyards to watch and learn from has been Emiliana Vineyards in Chile.  They produce biodynamic and organic wines. They post pictures on Facebook that are simply stunning.  They also produce a mighty fine drink that is reasonably priced.  You can find one of their brands, Natura Wine, at different specialty stores in Michigan.  You can read more about them at:


Another area where biodynamics is practiced is in raising cattle. I had the opportunity to speak to La Cense Beef in Montana last year and to learn a ton about grass fed meat, as well as organic and biodynamic farming. More on this later, too. In the meantime, you can learn more about La Cense here:

Biodynamic winemakers and farmers are true artists that help bring out the most wonderful subtle, sumptuous flavors.  Flavor brings us so much joy when we drink and eat.  Joy, my friends, is essential to life and health.


About the Author

Owner of Blue Pearl Strategies, Elisabeth is also The Tender Foodie. She started this blog and The Tender Palate, to help those food allergies and sensitivities.

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