There’s been a spate of articles lately focusing on the “natural wine” trend pulsing through wine world today. In almost every article there is a reference to biodynamic vineyards as a source for these uncertified “natural wines”. This is almost invariably not true, so it’s essential to understand the differences, but real bond, between “natural wines” and certified Biodynamic® Wines.
First of all, biodynamics is not simply a winemaking method; it is an agricultural discipline that is then extended throughout the cellar work. The focus of biodynamics is on soil and plant health. Healthy soils make healthy plants, which produce healthy fruit, which is what you need to create distinctive wine. If you want to practice minimalist winemaking, you can only do so with impeccable fruit. None of the biodynamic preparations (500, 501, etc.) are used in the cellar. All are applied to either the soil, the plants, or the compost that will be applied to the soil. The structure and rules to be certified Biodynamic® are all designed to be sure that nothing in the winemaking process detracts from the pure expression of vineyard, vintage, and variety that you have achieved through biodynamic farming. As the Demeter Biodynamic® Wine processing standard states, “The Biodynamic® Wine category denotes a wine that is made with 100% Biodynamic grapes and is intended to be an undisguised, vintage-based expression of a given estate vineyard.”