Tuesday, March 31, 2009
There have been many articles appearing lately that question the relevance of Biodynamic grapegrowing practices.
And some of the Biodynamic preparations do cause one to shudder. Fresh bull heads with horns attached that are filled with oak bark. Manure and compost stuffed into said horns which are then buried in the vineyards.
Mostly though, Biodynamics is about following chemical free grapegrowing as well as a specific lunar calendar for vine pruning, natural pesticide applications, grape picking, etc
And there is no doubt that some of the world's top wineries follow Biodynamic principles. Domaine Romanee Conti , Domaine Dujac, Didier Dagueneau, Zind Humbrecht,M. Chapoutier, Bürklin-Wolf, Alvaro Palacios, Robert Sinskey, Viader, Frog's Leap Quivira, etc just to name a few.
I am a supporter of the Biodynamic wine movement and seek these wines out whenever possible.
Recently though, I heard of a winemaker who had taken it all a bit too far, even for me.
For many years, Francois Vigneron had followed all of the Biodynamic practices at his vineyard in the south of France. But he was not happy with the wine produced from his vines. The resulting wines were lackluster and tartly rustic, therefore almost unsaleable.
Francois finally concluded that he and his staff were bringing bad energy and contaminants into the winery on their shoes and clothing.
As a result, he made a drastic decision. No clothing or shoes could be worn by anyone who entered his winemaking facility.
This was not so difficult to enforce since his staff was made up of a small group of men who have worked for him for many years. The picture above shows some of the staff during last autumn's grape crush.
Francois claims that his wine quality has soared as a result and will be releasing the first vintage of Bare Nekkid wines later this year.
Posted by Amy Atwood at 12:10 PM