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Organic & Biodynamic Wine

I harbour, I confess, a romantic ideal of a wine made from indigenous vines planted between ancient granitic boulders upon a hill in Spain by a hairy hermit who ploughs only by the full moon with his own fingernails. He sees the word pesticide as the very worst of all swearwords, using only the manure produced by the family composting water closet to fertilise his vines and whose relationship with the words Blossom and Hill are quite different to yours and mine. They make him smile and think of spring, not perspire heavily and think of satanic excreta in a bottle.

There are however a couple of issues I take with this Utopian concept of wine-making.  

Producing an organic, biodynamic or indeed natural wine is not an excuse for a wine to smell like the hindquarters of a sick horse. Also, these are not wines that are going to improve your health. For example, you may believe that you react badly to sulphites. Drinking less wine will assist this ailment, not drinking more organic wine. There are much worse things than sulphites in wine, in quantitative terms and most notably ethanol. If however, you give a hoot about the future of vines, or vineyards and ultimately of our planet then consider organic and biodynamic wines a step in the right direction. Organics and biodynamics in wine are principally concerned with the health and well-being of the soil in which the vines grow, the habitat that surrounds them, including animals, and the plants themselves. Biodynamics takes this to another level, including the economic and social, as well as physical ability of something to holistically support itself. It can all become enough to make one reach for the bottle, but the guiding principles are sound, after all there are wine producers who have been working in these ways for years without the need to label themselves. 

The hermit on a hill, for example. He does not care about being labelled. He does not care about sulphites. All he cares about is that there is enough of his own wine in his system to make sure he has enough fertiilser in the morning.

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