Biodynamics, Organics, and Sustainable practices are three fancy phrases for one basic principle: GOOD FARMING.
Our advice on navigating the prickly web of marketing terms and labelling flourish? Know your producers! At GWGP, we are all about the people making wines within a framework of responsible, earth-friendly methodology. Does that mean every bottle is a certified biodynamic, natural, or organic wine? No – there’s some delicious wine out there that doesn’t conform to these standards. But we value producers who practise minimal intervention in the vineyard and in the winery.
Read more about biodynamics below!
The principle of “Biodynamic” agriculture comes down to creating an environment of symbiosis in your vineyard or field - eschewing chemical and synthetic shortcuts in favour of more natural principles and approaches. Planting a tree, for example, will encourage bird life, which will then help in driving off pest infestation and disease-carrying critters.
Harvesting by the moon cycles means that the photosynthesis will be paused at the time the grapes are drawn from their vines, reducing the active sugar development in the grapes until their inevitable march to the presses. Planting cover crops between vineyard rows will encourage competition between the vine and, say, its legume neighbour, so that the roots of the vine will be encouraged to dig deeper for sustenance. These are basic examples. In essence, biodynamics is throwback farming. In the winery, it’s all pretty hands-off, just grapes and naturally occurring yeasts, and regulated limits of sulphites.
The Demeter certification, named after the Greek goddess of grain and fertility, is the world’s accepted official stamp of approval for biodynamics, which you’ll spot as a goofy green and orange logo with a superhero-esque font on the label of some of our favourite bottles!
Now, just because a wine does not have this official certification does NOT mean that the makers are spraying down their holdings at the first sight of trouble. It just means the producer hasn’t opted to complete the exhaustive, years-long rubric required to carry the Demeter symbol on their label.