Biodynamic is similar to organic farming. Both rely on growing grapes without the use of synthetic chemicals on soil and plants, but biodynamic farming stretches the ethos to the vineyard being seen as an entire ecosystem.
Rudolph Steiner, an Austrian philosopher started the concept of Biodynamics and believed it as a homoeopathic way of farming. He described nine different methods necessary for biodynamic farming, ranging from the use of cow manure to the implementation of medicinal plants such as chamomile, dandelions and valerian flower juice.
Unique methods to the biodynamic approach include its treatment of soil, crops and animals as a single system, and taking astrological cycles into consideration when it comes to activities such as sowing and planting. Involving only natural ingredients in supplying the nutrients and elements needed to fertilise soil and specially prepared homoeopathic remedies are used to treat vineyard diseases and pests.
It is often viewed as a little ‘hippie’ in the ethics and processes that farmers must follow, but it may surprise you to know that some of the most expensive producers in the world are now either certified or in the process of converting. A few great examples of these are Domaine Romanee Conti, a Burgundy wine that sells upwards of £3,000, Château Beaucastel, a premium Châteauneuf du Pape at £60+, and the critically acclaimed Australian winemaker, Henschke.