Discover Biodynamic Agriculture with Julia Lambeth DipWSET

Okay Good evening um from london or um Well morning afternoon whatever time it Is where you are uh Welcome to our next In the series of our webinars um which Is On biodynamic agriculture Um my name is julia lamberth i’m one of The educators at wct school london So wcp school london is one of the um Course providers for the wct Qualifications and And we hold courses normally in our Building at london bridge However that’s obviously not possible Currently due to look down So we’ve been uh working more in our Online Events instead um and i’m Pleased to be able to share this Presentation on Biodynamic culture with you this evening Um so i feel like i should put in a bit Of a disclaimer To start with um i Am not a grape grower um i don’t work in A vineyard i’ve Been in vineyards i’ve done kind of days Of work here and there Um but i am really just a a fan of one I’m an educator obviously Um and i’m interested in biodynamic Agriculture

So i started looking into biodynamics When i started studying for my diploma Over 10 years ago now um and it’s Something that i Have followed ever since and tried to Kind of Find out more where i can and that’s What led me to This presentation today um What it means is that while you are Welcome to ask Questions as we go through using the q a Function Um i might not be able to answer all of Them Um but i’ve got a lot of information for You and i hope you find it interesting Um so let me just move on then to The plan um Oh there we go that’s me um so yes i Am julia lambert and i completed my Diploma A good few years ago now so i get to use The term wset after my name I know a few of you here are studying Diploma um And i will be you soon and there’s a Lovely picture of me in Our sauce for a few years okay Um so back to the plan for the today um We’re going to start with some Definitions So obviously a definition of what Biodynamic agriculture is but also

A few other terms that often get used Around or sometimes even interchangeably With And i just want to clarify what Biodynamics is what it isn’t And a couple of other things that Related uh we’ll have a look at the Origins Uh where it started um The rules we’ll look through the Preparations that are Necessary for biodynamic agriculture The results meaning What happens in the vineyard and the Wines For producers that use these practices Where we can find it Some of the challenges potentially and The future question mark um This is just a little idea really about Um where we are with biodynamics and What could happen Uh in the future with it so we’ll get on To that at the end So first off before we get into the Definitions Um i just wanted to take a little poll Of everyone actually Um and see what Your preferences are with regards to When you are buying um wise yourselves So hopefully you will see these options Start to appear It’s no no no no no no this poll so i

Won’t be able to see Who said what um but just Really for my own interest to see what You buy When you’re looking at wine so the Options here we’ve got organic Biodynamic Natural sustainable all of the above None of the above or not sure And i can see quite a few of you Participating now thank you very much For that So early indicators look like Organic is important for quite a few People that 29 They’re currently biodynamic slightly Less so natural Even less so and 14 sustainable Even more up to sort of 34 or 35 percent 22 people saying all of them 17 saying None of them and six saying not sure so That’s a real Mixed bag there um and i Think it would probably be Not necessarily representative of the Whole population because you guys being Here now are obviously here because You’re interested in wine I think if we were to look at the Population as a whole the numbers would Be much smaller Um but even for you guys okay it’s a List of to biodynamics Um not everyone it seems things it’s

Necessarily that important when buying Wine which is an interesting one Well thank you for participating in that Um We’ll continue now then with Some definitions then So all those terms that i included in The poll i’m just going to talk through So you may not have been clear on what All those were in the first place which Will have made it harder to decide But there’s a couple of other ones i Thought i’d add in as well that you may Come across When you’re reading about wine so we’ve Got conventional agriculture Just to start with so conventional Agriculture Is really what we mean by um what’s Become commonplace In the 20th century so agriculture where Uses of chemicals in the vineyard or Wineries become commonplace Fertilizers use of machinery again in The vineyard and winery Um it’s sort of Maybe the more industrial side of Agriculture And when i say agriculture i mean bitter Culture i’m going to kind of use the Terms interchangeably for the purpose of Today because it’s obviously based on Wine But they are terms that you can find

Across other Farming practices as well now what’s Interesting about what we refer to as Conventional agriculture is obviously Um that’s not really how it would have Started is it when you think about wine Being made Hundreds or even thousands of years ago None of this would have existed So what’s conventional to us today um Wouldn’t necessarily have been so back Then but this is how it’s developed over The recent Century in a bit um The reason we have these things are Firstly because they allow us to Control some of the problems we can get Things like um Mildew in the vineyards can be a big Problem so Some of these chemicals have been Created to help prevent that But then you’ve got other things to Control pests um [Music] Herbicides to control weeds all sorts of Things that are going on Um and the other thing that a lot of These things will do if we’re not in the Vineyard is to help make the wine to a Diet Style so that’s a more commercial aspect That’s also going to be Have come around as a more kind of

Recent Uh invention so that is what is Currently considered conventional so These other terms are all moving away From that to various degrees So with sustainable we’re looking at Practices that are going to protect the Land protects the vineyard for Future use in future generations so this Could include things like Reducing chemical use Managing pests in ways that are more Sympathetic with the environment um Growing Cover crops so you’ve got other plants In your vineyard rather than just The monoculture which is probably what You’ve seen in a lot of videos if you’ve Been To them um managing things like water Use All of these things are going to be tied In together Um but it does mean that some things are Still permitted in terms of Additions uh in the vineyard it’s not a You can’t do anything sort of practice Same with the luchary the name so this Um translates as reason Struggle so it means that you can Use chemicals If you need to so rather than getting Into the habitual Process of this time of year we use this

Spray and this time of year we use this Spray You only do things as and when or if They are necessary if they’re needed Um it’s not a legally defined term but It might be one that you come across Organic is a term that Can be defined we’ve got [Music] Organic certifying bodies around the World which will tell you what you can And can’t do In order to be considered organic so With organic production we’re talking About removing Synthetic chemicals from production In the vineyard and in the winery This doesn’t mean that nothing is used Some Additions things like bordeaux mixture Which is copper sulfate is commonly Still used albeit through a lesser Degree than what’s committed in Conventional agriculture But generally we’re looking at as i say No chemicals so healthier vineyards Focus on the soil and Making a product making a an environment That’s all together More healthy um As i said there are slightly different Um Certified bodies around the world so There are different rules in different

Places You’ll also find there’s a difference Between wine made using organically Grown grapes and organic Wine so there’s some differences in the Labeling as well Um but all in all it’s that’s what we’re Looking at And i think organic especially is a term That many of us are more familiar with You may Buy food that’s organic already you may Think about other products in your life That are organic So it’s something that when applied to Wine you sort of have an intuitive Understanding of it This may be less true for biodynamic And so this is obviously the focus of The topic today and i’m going to expand On it in more detail Shortly um but just as an overview Biodynamic agriculture Is based on the philosophies of rudolf Steiner Who is an austrian philosopher And what we’re looking at here is taking The principles of organic as a Basic biodynamics is often seen as Building on Organic so it actually predates a lot of The Rules around organic agriculture but it Does still take those same

Basic principles of no chemicals Focusing on the vineyard health the soil Um but here in order to facilitate that What we’re looking at is Quite specific rules and specific things That you have to do So this includes a number of Preparations as they’re referred to that You have to do in the vineyard I’ll talk about those shortly what they All are It also means things like paying Attention to the lunar cycle Planting harvesting doing your various Activities in the vineyard in Conjunction with a lunar cycle Because it’s acknowledged that the moon Has a strong Influence over the earth um And i guess expanding on that it’s a Philosophy that recognizes that you’re Not just looking at Plants in a vineyard you’re looking at The vineyard as an organism as a Thing that lives and breathes Essentially and it’s not just a set of Different plants it’s one thing Altogether and you want to look after it As a single organism But also that this organism is part of Not just The wider area that is planted in but Part of the planet which is Affected by the not only the moon but

The rest of the Solar system and the various forces that Exist out there So it’s essentially trying to Think about how all of these things Interact and make sure that you’re Getting the best Possible outcome for the health of the Vineyard as a result of it So some quite big ideas going on there And as i say we’ll expand on those Shortly Um minimal intervention and natural Were the other two terms here um I think they pretty much mean the same Thing Which is just you don’t really do much Um not much added and not much taken Away is the sort of Simple way to explain it so both in the Vineyard and in the winery You’re aiming to do as little as Possible to the vines to the wine And so the product at the end of it Should be Well as as little interfered with as Possible So the term natural in fact both of them Are not legally defined the term natural Seems to have become much more popular Over recent years Um but it is one of those that seems to Have slightly different meanings for Different people and different producers

And there isn’t A sort of single style of natural wines That you could describe Um but that is potentially a whole other Conversation So i’ll leave that there for today So hopefully that clarifies where Biodynamic Its culture sits within this array of Terms And from here what we’re going to do is Just focus on More specifics about biodynamic Agriculture Um so starting at the beginning So rudolf steiner i mentioned earlier is The Australian australian austrian Uh philosopher who is basically came up With the concept of biodynamics Um so he wasn’t it wasn’t just Biodynamic Um agriculture that he came up with Um prior to that he had been Famous for a Spiritual philosophy known as Anthroposophy And this is basically looking at the Sort of Physical world combined with a spiritual World And trying to come up with a philosophy That encourages everything to work Together

Um depending on what you read about this Guy He is referred to as an occultist A word that doesn’t necessarily have Good connotations when we’re thinking About The modern day i also read his Apparently was thought of as a Clairvoyant I don’t know about that either but Needless to say When you start doing a lot of reading About this there’s kind of various Opinions Of him um so It’s an interesting one how much you Will believe is going to be down to you Um a lot of people will take on board All parts of this philosophy all of it’s Really important and some people seem to Be More interested in some bits than other Bits and we’ll see that as we go along Um so from this collection this Philosophy that rudolph steiner created It was um Only in 1924 actually towards the end of His life That he held his series of agricultural Lectures Um this was eight lectures and Um this was really where the Procedure the philosophy of biodynamics Was first announced to the world

Uh smell it was very small affair at the Time as you can see 111 people Attended um but this was the starting Point and from there It did continue to grow there was You know admittedly maybe not a Wholehearted response At first you can imagine people were Quite cynical about some of the things That he proposes as i’ve mentioned Already some of those ideas about cosmic And The spiritual element um but he really Believed The rules relating to agriculture were Important he’d started to see How chemicals were being used um in Farms around the world not just in Vineyards And sort of predicted that this was Going to become a serious problem So that’s kind of what led him towards This theory of biodynamics Um and to be fair in that respect he Wasn’t too far off Um so we start with this relatively Small audience But it does grow so over time Uh different people become involved we Can see in 1938 Uh aaron fried pfeiffer’s text on Biodynamic farming and gardening was Published This was published in five different

Languages and would actually go on to Become The sort of leading text in biodynamics For about Five decades so it’s quite an important One Um after that we just see Continued growth um i think by the 1930s You had About a thousand farms around the world Were already Practicing biodynamic principles so you Can see how it again Started small but continued to grow Uh by the time we get to 1963 uh you can See we had the first issue of mariatan’s Biodynamic calendar This will come back to you a bit later As well Um but as i’ve mentioned already the Lunar cycle being important To biodynamic agriculture means that There are certain Times of times of the year but also Certain days that are better doing Some activities rather than others and This is really a reference for people to Know Which days are good according to the Philosophies of Biodynamic principles and which are not And that’s continued to be published Every year since then you can buy the 2021 version now

If you wish um So again continuing to grow Um interestingly it’s still not massive In Wine up until this point so it was only In the 1980s really that we start to see The principles of biodynamic agriculture Being applied to vineyards Um started off in france Mainly and that did grow from there and Now obviously it’s an international um Phenomenon So we jump forward a bit um to 1997 Demeter international forums So dimita is the certifying body for Biodynamic um farms Up until this point you had kind of Lots of separate um Kind of certifying bodies in lots of Different countries and they didn’t Really all link up together So it’s at this point that you have this Kind of global overview Um the term demeter had been used with Reference to biodynamics before that but It’s at this point It becomes used for this international Organization And as we continue on um A little date in the middle just to Mention Is in 2008 um We actually have some biodynamic rules Applied

To wine making as well as grape growing So when we think back to steiner’s Original agriculture Lectures they were very much based on The vineyard on the farming Uh the physical part of it in the farm And The wine making however is also going to Be important right you can’t just Do all of this work in the vineyard and Make the wines in the same way That they’re doing for the conventional Wines that’s not going to work So this imposed rules on additives that You can use Processes that you can use in order to Show that the Wine making process was consistent with Living our process And then finally we get to last year um Where you can see Demeter international and the International biodynamic association Join Forces so this is basically the new International umbrella organization for All Um biodynamic and demeter associations Worldwide So this is now known as the biodynamic Federation Demeter international Yeah so um as you can see Over this time and still continue to

Grow in the number of Vineyards that are practicing these Principles and continuing to grow in Terms of the Organizational structure Um so yeah a little lots happened In that time Now we know where we started and Let’s just have a little bit more of a Look at The rules associated with biodynamic Reduction So i’ve mentioned already that synthetic Chemicals Are not committed organic viticulture is The kind of Bare minimum you would have to practice And then you do your biodynamic Preparations on top So there are a number of preparations That are Required for you to do in the vineyard In order to become Um certified as biodynamic And you can see those indicated on the Screen there um So and 501 Of the horn preparations um and these Are Applied more to the vineyard And from 502 down to 507 508 these are used for compost But there’s a slight difference between Them um

A shout out here goes to my colleague Lydia who um allowed me to use her Photos for this Um so it gives you a bit of an Illustration Of what we’re looking at here so to talk About these in more detail So 500 the horn manure Well includes the horn you can see the Pictures of the horns there And what you would need to do for this Is you fill the cow the cow’s horn with Manure Um you would bury it in the soil in your Vineyard over winter When you dig it up you mix it with water And then you spray this Onto your soil um the mixing it with Water Is an important part um you have to mix It for an Hour and you have to stir it in both Directions Uh this is known as dynamiting Dynamization Of the mixture basically bringing it to Life To then be used or To then be put into the vineyard so it’s A very specific process The horn silica is similar So again we’ve got the cows formed but This time instead of putting manure in We’re putting

Silica we’re putting Essentially ground quartz in instead This time it’s buried over summer And for the silica but then again the Same thing it’s mixed with water The mixture is dynamized and then this Time this is sprayed onto the vines Instead The others as i mentioned are for Compost Um and these as you can see involve Various different Ingredients and there are a number of Different things that you have to do So 502 the yarrow preparation is yarrow Fermented in stag’s bladder Uh 503 the chamomile preparation Is chamomile encased in uh cow’s Intestine In buried over winter so nettle Preparation is Basically tea oak bark preparation Is fermented in the skull of the Domestic animal The dandelion preparation is dandelions Fermented in basically cow intestines And then the valyrian preparation is the Juice from valerium Plants um i put 508 In brackets there and that’s because Of the resources i’ve looked at include It And some don’t um so this seems to be Of all of them the one that’s maybe not

Used for Every vineyard the horse tail Is a herb and it’s just using the teeth And the horsetail plant So that’s all of those The interesting things here well there’s A lot of interesting things here really Aren’t they it’s um quite a List of activities that you would need You’d be expected to complete in order To Be um certified just by dynamic vineyard Each of them has different functions the Various animal parts that i mentioned Are important because it said that the Function that the animal parts carried Out when the animal was alive Is then related to what it does for this Preparation And when it’s used here The herbs all have herbs or plants will Have Particular properties to them Various restorative properties that are Supposed to obviously help with the Compost which is going to help with the Life Of the vines All in all what we’re looking at i guess To boil it down Are ways to try and encourage Biodiversity within the vineyard And one of the things we’ll come to Shortly when we’re looking at biodynamic

Vineyards is that the soil is much more Diverse much more alive compared to Vineyards which have undergone Conventional agriculture So it definitely does make a difference Um How much of a difference would it make If it wasn’t In a hall i don’t know like there’s Quite a few things that are That we could question here it’s not Going to be my role this evening to say Whether i think You know it’s all a hundred percent has To be done this way or whether there are Some things which maybe Could be taken away and it would still Work in the same way i don’t know that Um but i think well hopefully you will Agree it’s just awkward Um so those are the Preparations um other things that are Important providing Biodynamics as i’ve mentioned already The lunar calendar So this goes back to um maria tim’s book Where we’ve got the um The importance of the lunar calendar is Reflected in Which activities you should do Throughout the Month and throughout the year so some Days will be better for planting Seeds some days are better for fruit

Production Some days are better for working on the Um Training of the vine things like that um [Music] This has been taken to further degrees In some places I remember a few years ago it was said That some of the um Major wine retailers were planning their Press tastings In conjunction with the biodynamic Calendar so that you would only They would only hold their press Tastings on a fruit day because the Fruit Day was supposedly when the wine would Taste best I did look that up recently and i Couldn’t find any evidence for it So i don’t know if that’s 100 true but That’s what was being said Um there seems to be some doubt as to Whether being a fruit day does actually Mean your wine tastes better Um but you may be happy to know if you Are drinking any wine but it is a fruit Day today So would your wine taste better today Than it did yesterday I don’t know again you can decide that Um so there we have it Lots of quite particular rules to follow Um i think the interesting point on the

Lunar Cycle um again it’s one of those things Especially when we’re talking about the Connection with the zodiac which is Often referenced in the Kind of um guidelines to biodynamic Production might be a bit Cynical about but when you think about The influence of the moon More generally think about how we have Tidal forces think about how much of a Plant is actually made from water You know there are some ways in which It’s not kind of Totally outlandish that the moon has an Influence and it In some way that makes a lot of sense Actually um So you can see how some of these Connections start to be made Um so if you do all of your preparations You follow all of the other rules Then you can apply to be certified by Demeter the body that we’ve talked about Already Of course this is going to come at a Cost and they will obviously want to Maintain checks here on you to ensure That you are doing everything that Should be done Which is also going to be another Pressure on the vineyard so Not everyone that practices these Principles

Is certified so that means that not Every bottle of wine Which has been made using biodynamic Principles actually said that anywhere On the bottle sometimes you just have to Know The producer and know what they do to Understand whether they do or don’t And that’s a separate issue So from here i just wanted to talk about What can we expect from a wine That’s been produced using biodynamic Biodynamic principles And there’s a few points here and just To Give us a place to start really the First one which Is really the easy one is better Vineyard health Um by removing chemicals As a start you’re already going to be Making sure that your vineyard is more Alive compared to openly odds that is Repeatedly sprayed with chemicals year On year Um i’ve got a couple of sort of quotes Here from various books Um i should say by the way i’ve got a List of resources at the end for Um everything that i’ve looked at in Order to prepare for this session so you Can have A full list of those later um So first off in the oxford companion to

Wine There’s results from Uh claude borgenian to show that he Found greater levels Of microbial life in vineyard topsoils And in roots down to several meters deep In biodynamic vineyards not just Compared to Conventional vineyards but also compared To organic vinegars as well So there is a difference between um Organic and biodynamic you know i guess What i’m saying is there is a difference That these preparations Make um Another example was in wine types jamie Goods book Um where we see again better soil Quality And lower yields which is often Associated with more Concentrated fruit flavors In wine so again thinking about how it’s Going to be beneficial to the production Of the wine Better for the environment is another Consideration Of course because we’re using less Chemicals Uh we’re also using less machinery Generally so you’re not going to see the Same Tractors running through the vineyards As you will see

In a conventional situation Even in the winery we’re more Sympathetic so you’re not going to see So many big um Kind of pneumatic presses or things like That necessarily It’s going to be more gentle processes In order to Get the most out of the wine So where we are using less machinery That’s obviously going to have Less of a carbon footprint animals are Often Encouraged within these vineyards Um partly just because of this idea of The vineyard as a living thing not only Are we going to have other plants in There but we’re also going to have Animals which are going to Add to the biodiversity again the micro Biodiversity by The manure or saliva that they impart Within yards So a lot of different things going on Together Um better for people question mark Um it’s Dangerous territory i guess to talk About wine being healthier In any way because um you know still why Um but uh comments In um isabella leisure on nw’s book Natural wine Uh i found quite interesting was that

The levels of pesticide pesticide Found in wine that are legally committed In wine would not be permitted in Drinking water in the uk and given that Wine is mostly water Um it’s another thing that is a bit Concerning So when we’re looking at these wines Which aren’t made with pesticides And these other chemicals they naturally Are going to have Lower levels so they shouldn’t have the Same that we’re going to find In conventional agriculture Um and while Um one of the other things that is going To be reduced in biodynamic Wines compared to conventional wines is The level of sulfites as well So sulfites are committed they’re not Abolished completely but You are allowed much less than what you Would find in a bottle of conventional Wine Um and i don’t know if you spent much Time reading about sulfites you’ll know There’s quite a big debate there as well Um but the sort of general argument Boils down to The more other things you have in your Wine that are not the wine The more it’s going to be maybe doing Things that aren’t so good for you So of course there are people that are

Allergic to sulfites and it’s definitely Not good for them But even for the rest of us um if we Think about the additives that are in Wine Sulfites and potentially other things Included to be fair um The more of other things that are in Your wine that you don’t know about The less good potentially it’s going to Be for you And just as a side note really i don’t Know if you’ve ever considered Ingredients in wine We always think of wine as being this Natural product but as i’ve mentioned Already conventional agriculture has Moved very far away from that And there are lots of things you can do In the vineyard lots of things you can Add in the winery to Change and manipulate your wine to make It the way you want it But none of these things are ever Indicated on the label Wouldn’t be the same for any other Product really is there any food that You buy any other drinks that you can Chew You know what’s in there so It’s an interesting thing to consider I’ll leave you to Decide what you think about that I’m going to go off i’m a bit tangent

And that’s just not necessary right now Um the final point i put here for the Results is good tasting wines Um so when i was preparing for this Session i was like okay i need to think About Whether by wines produced using Biodynamic principles better than Conventional wine So obviously my first action was to Google Does biodynamic wine taste better And my top three results said yes no and Maybe Which i think tells you about as much as You need to know um for the conclusive Um result of whether or not biodynamic Wines taste better Um it’s not conclusive people can’t Agree um However it’s not done necessarily to Make people Agree it’s done because of the Principles when it comes down to the Vineyard and Producing wine in a way that is all of The things you’ve said already Um it just amused me however that you Can get such a Array of different results um i did put Up there Um a Research paper that was the yes one of The yeses

Um this was quoted in on the website Vine pair Um a paper by professor delmas on uh Which is titled does organic wine taste Better and analysis of expert Ratings and they basically looked at Um wine rate things from experts across A number of publications A number of wines a number of years And they took all this evidence Which apparently they had to do by hand Because the publications didn’t want to Give it to them They looked at all the scores for all The wines and then went and looked at All the wines And worked out whether they were Organic biodynamic conventional whatever They might be And then analyze the scores versus the Process used to make the wine to see if There would be any overall Difference and what they found was that There was Um overall the Um experts ratings were um higher Statistically significantly higher But by biodynamic wines compared to Other wines Um and they believed in the validity of This because most of the tasting notes For these wines From these publications was done blind That said as i say um other

Studies other results have shown uh Other things so That’s just one perspective again it Will be something you can look into Different studies and different Procedures have found different things Okay All right a few um well just a list of Locations here for you really Um so having talked about where Biodynamic Agriculture started with rudolf steiner In austria It very much was a sort of eurocentric Sort of thing for a while france was one Of the countries to really go for it But as you can see now there are Biodynamic vineyards in countries all Around the world So this list of countries was taken from Demeter’s Wine growers list which you can just Download for free from their website And it actually has for each country All of the vineyards that are certified By dynamic Um for the big countries with uh the Greater Number of vineyards it’s divided into Regions so you can have a look through There And see what’s going on in your country Or see what’s going on in your favorite Region

And start to come across the biodynamic Certified producers if you are Interested Um oh yeah a little little stat there It’s not been particularly easy to find Up-to-date statistics For the proportion of um biodynamic Production of vineyards in the world Um but that one was from 2017 4.5 Of the world’s wine vape vineyards were Certified by dynamic Or organic um And one of the challenges frequently When looking at studies related to Biodynamic wines is that They’re normally biodynamic or organic It’s all kind of grouped in together So it’s quite hard to tell what’s Relevant just to biodynamic rather than One or the other but it’s a good place To start Uh quite a small percentage you’ll Notice there I think particularly for those of us in The wine trade when once you do start Hearing about these wines you just start It just seems like they’re everywhere Everyone’s practicing biodynamics now Um but really it’s not it’s really still Quite a small Percentage of production uh and of those About 80 Were in europe so still quite dominant In terms of european production that is

The same it’s been growing for a long Time and will continue to do so Okay Challenges so We’ve come this far and you may be Thinking Well that’s all just sounds like a load Of nonsense i don’t know why anyone do It Or you may be thinking this is such a Great idea Why didn’t they know more about it i can Totally see how this all fits together And these cosmic energies and The lunar cycle totally makes sense to Me You know people are going to go either Way Either way the biodynamic industry by Dynamic winds as a whole Do have some challenges for people that Like them they like them and they’re Going to buy them you’re going to keep Buying them For other people it’s a little bit more Tricky So one of the big challenges is consumer Understanding So the paper that you can see there an Overview of the biodynamic wine sector Brought together a number of different Studies which have been done On biodynamic wines specifically and They

Cite here that they’re trying to find Specifically biodynamic wines rather Than by dynamic and Organic clump together but as i’ve Mentioned already it’s not necessarily That easy to separate them Um and they found a few different things Confusion Among consumers um people don’t Understand the term biodynamic they’re Not familiar with it Some people even think it has negative Connotations Um thinking about sort of bioengineering Or genetically modified things like that So they actually think biodynamics Sounds bad they’re less likely to buy it Um misunderstanding i mentioned already There’s quite a few different labeling Terms that can sometimes get mixed up Together That people don’t necessarily know What’s what They’re not willing to uh pay said Already that Well cost as you can see is the next Point it is going to cost more To make these wines um because you have More Uh labor obviously due to the Preparations in the vineyards Um you can’t use the mechanization that Other vineyards may do so it’s going to Take more time to do these things

Um but Yeah the consumer opinion is generally Well given that most people don’t Understand it But why would they pay more of it for it So it is a bit tricky Um and it One of the interesting things that they Found actually was the target market for These fines is normally going to be um Just normal consumers Because if you’re looking at people that Are kind of really into Kind of organic and health substances And things like that Normally the people that aren’t going to Drink much alcohol because alcohol is Considered to be not necessarily hurtful For you So it is a kind of tricky line that They’re going to straddle they’re Creating a product that’s ostensibly Produced in methods that are Better for the wine better as i said Potentially for people um But you know who’s gonna know So a little bit of work to do there in Terms of consumer understanding Um cost yeah i’ve said it’s it’s gonna Generally Be more expensive uh depending on who You talk to Some estimates reckon it’s about 50 more Expensive to make a biodynamic

Wine compared to just a wine produced by Conventional agriculture So if you can’t charge more for your Wine if people aren’t willing to pay More It is eventually going to make it Unsustainable Um that said i think most biodynamic Producers Have enough of a small but committed Community of buyers that they don’t Really have to worry too much um but it Will be interesting as this continues to Grow To see whether the wider population will Eventually kind of Get on board with it as it were Um certification is another challenge Uh mainly because it’s expensive again And you do have to jump through the Various hoops as i mentioned earlier And you will be expected to kind of Prove that you are doing all of the Preparations and all of the things that Are required In order to maintain your certification Um general cynicism was the last point Um I think even among the wine trade uh Once you Understand the preparations as i said Earlier you either believe it or You probably don’t um Non-believers sometimes just um

Dismiss it uh it’s too much of the Spiritual it’s not scientific enough Um there’s even a comment in Jamie good’s book in wine science saying That people want to do more research On this to sort of understand exactly What the impacts are But if you submit a topic for a paper As a request for funding and it’s got The word biodynamic in it It will get turned down because people Just don’t Have a belief in it at the moment that It’s going to be worth it So yeah it’s a challenge and you’ve got To kind of Be impressed with especially some of the Early people that converted and think About just what they would have had to Experience from you know their Neighbouring The neurons or people nearby who would Be like Why doing that why aren’t you just Spraying what’s All that all those couch horns for you Know it’s Um it is different and it’s gonna have Taken People a long time to get where they are Uh and still As i say there’s not wholesale everyone On board Um but there we go people who do it do

It because they believe in it Okay so coming towards the end now I just wanted to mention what i refer to As an alternative perspective Um so we’ve talked about The preparations of the soil and kind of The Studies earlier where we saw that um the Level of microbes in the soil is Definitely higher In biodynamic soils So there definitely is a difference There um It’s not just microbial life that’s Going to be important You can see the lovely picture of the Earthworm there Earthworms are also important for Maintaining soil health Largely because they will tunnel through They will leave space that um Air can get through and it’s important That soils are aerated This can all be undone if you are Tilling your soil too much if it’s Compacted by the use of tractors or Machinery Things like that so Understanding how all these things work Together is important And apparently fun fact for you um The weight of all the earthworms in the World Um would be the same as

That of all the other animals combined Well there you go there’s a lot of Earthworms they’re important All right which is why i put that little Picture up there just so we Remember that Um all right and then the other The thing that i really wanted to talk About here um in terms of this Alternative perspective Um is based on an article written by Uh katya nelsbaum and on janice A couple years ago which was titled by Dynamics a new approach needed So katya owns a vineyard in italy Um and basically had been thinking about How she works with the vineyard and how To improve it And sort of come towards this idea of a Modernized approach of biodynamics Largely after reading about A book about that well called the hidden Light of trees By peter bolenben which is about how Trees and plants in general interact And communicate there’s much more going On Than we can see and this really got her Sort of thinking about the Interconnectedness of Vines you know if it’s happening for Other plants in general it’s going to be Happening for vines too

Um and she did a lot of research on this Um i highly recommend you read this At this article by the way it is Fascinating um And sort of drilled down to the Um level of the Mycorrhizal fungal networks within the Soil So mycorrhizal fungi Live in the soil very tiny tiny Microscopic fungi They live on the surface of the Roots of the vines and basically have This symbiotic relationship So the fungi help the roots absorb Water and nutrients from the soil They’ll in fact break down some of the Nutrients which the Roots can’t necessarily access by Themselves So the fungi are helping The roots of the vines get the nutrients They need and then The vines actually help sustain The fungi by providing carbohydrates For them to live on so part of the Result of The photosynthesis of the vine will be Distributed into the soil so that These fungi can access them because the Fungi themselves Don’t have the ability to Photosynthesize So these fungi are interconnected

It’s a network so across your vineyard The fungi are connecting the vines Together and everything else together And this was the perspective of a Living soil i guess which really Appealed To katia here um and help to explain how This idea of living soil this idea of Living vineyard Can actually start to be explained by a Greater understanding of science So while rudolf steiner’s Intuitive um lectures were important and You know again he wanted he thought of The vineyard as a living organism Um and then created the explanation for This including the Lunar and cosmic forces her perspective Is It was a good start and definitely what He’s doing is on to something there But it may not be necessarily the way we Have to approach Things in the future and the comparison She makes Is with the theories of sigmund freud Psychoanalysis At the time they’re important and You know we still practice some things Related to that now But people aren’t using exactly the same Techniques As he was then so we’ve taken the best Bits

And adapted it using the knowledge that We’ve gained in that time And this is really the suggestion here Do we need to do All of these things that are um part of The Biodynamic rules or can we understand What these are doing and then just make Sure that we are Promoting the best in the hotels making These wines in the best way possible But we can leave out some of the bits we Don’t want Um so Quite controversial um the question Would really be If you start leaving some bits out is it Gonna still be considered Biodynamic if you’re not doing all of Those things Is it something else instead is that Better is that not so good Would it be any more useful to have Another word for another practice Um in the vineyard for us all consumers More generally to try and get to grips With So yeah it’s just an Interesting idea um [Music] Whether you think it would be good or Not i will leave up to you to decide Um but it does mean that the future May not continue exactly as it has done

But i mean That’s the way it’s always been it’s the Way it’s always going to be Uh and the good news is we should still Get good wine as a result of it So that was really Where i wanted to finish leave you with A nice big question that you can mull Over And see what you think here is Um a list of the resources that i’ve Referred to That should be all of them um [Music] There are obviously lots of different Pages that you can look at Um but i found it as useful as a Starting point Um now it’s time for some questions So if you haven’t uh Put your question in there so far please Do so Um as i mentioned earlier and i’ll be Able to answer all of them Um but i will do what i can So natalia’s asked do you believe that The future of winemaking Is 100 organic and biodynamic Um i guess my answer is I would like it to be but in reality i Don’t think it will be When we think about wines that are Produced on a commercial scale Um it’s just

Not going to be possible so in order for Wines For production to move to being 100 Organic and biodynamic there really Needs to be a change in Consumer consumption first we need People to Want to buy these wines and then really To pay more for these wines in order for The production to follow So we’ll see Oh gabrielle has asked where would you Put vegan wines Any specific agriculture style um That’s a good question i forgot to Include vegan and vegetarian didn’t i Um so it’s largely considered that Uh biodynamic wines are not vegan or Vegetarian due to the Aforementioned animal parts Um other than that it would be a choice For um natural no natural producers and Normally vegan Organic producers is a choice In conventional wines yeah it could be Anything So in conclusion biodynamic No natural yes others Maybe Uh savvy’s asked do organic and natural Wines contain Sulfites um so i think i touched on that A little bit But just to expand yes

For the most part although the amounts Permitted are much smaller compared to Conventional wines So natural wines even less than organic Or biodynamic wines Some natural producers will try not to Add any sulfites Uh another labeling term i didn’t Include is sulfite free or no added Sulfites So you can choose not to add any But most will add Or a lot will add at least a little bit Um Partly to help preserve the wine but Also It’s kind of just a bit of security Measure and apparently some countries Won’t sell wines if they don’t have Sulfites in them they don’t believe that They’re going to have The ability To last if they don’t have some addition To them So yeah But you can definitely find wines Without added sulfites Um and just to be clear there are Tiny tiny amounts of sulfites created by The winemaking process so you’ll always Have At least a tiny tiny bit but it’s the Amount that’s added which varies Quite considerably

Among different wines Okay Francesco’s asked how wst is approaching The natural wine teaching I can’t answer that um i’ve been Educated but i don’t write the courses Um so whether or not that makes it onto The syllabus In future courses will remain to be seen There’s some technical questions the Proportion of cows on the water I don’t know it’s quite small Proportions so You um Think of it in terms of sort of Homeopathic quantities And so you’ll have a lot of water and a Small bit of Caramel but i couldn’t tell you exactly The proportion there A couple of people bringing up the Vegetarian vegan point i hope they’ve Answered that Oh loads of you asking that okay So someone’s asked um what effect does A neighboring conventional clot have on A biodynamic one Or vice versa uh because pesticides Spread And uh yeah that’s a good point Um It’s still possible To be certified by dynamic even if your Neighbor is using pesticides

Um obviously It might lead to a few disagreements but Um that’s the way it goes In some areas you might find that There’s been a sort of Agreement that people Kind of have altogether stopped using Pesticides but I don’t think that’s that common that Normally the influence of pesticides From neighbouring Vineyards isn’t significant enough to Cause Problems But um yeah it’s not impossible Um question about Fermentation of biodynamic wines wild Yeasts only Um yeah so the Rules for biodynamic wine production I don’t know whether it’s prohibit or Just strongly recommend The use of wild yeasts only Um so you’re not using inoculated yeasts From you know used shops which have that Um that’s what i’m looking for Consistency with wines around the world So part of The advantage of not using Your fungicides in the vineyards is that It’s also going to mean you have a Healthier population of wild yeasts Because you start the fungus so if You’re using

Fungicides to kill your mildew or Whatever you’re also going to have an Influence on The wild juice production so these Grapes should have a stronger wild yeast Population to start with um And that does mean greater complexity of Different yeasts So how you control the aromatics You don’t you let the grapes express Themselves you let the yeast express What’s in the grapes and you’re just There to You know gently encourage them along So the idea behind many of these wines Isn’t to manufacture them It’s to just help them into being Um in french they don’t use the term Wine making Like we do in english they would say Elivage you raise the wines And i’ve always thought that’s quite a Nice concept so you’re not making them You’re not Manipulating them or forcing them into Something You’re just helping them express what’s There already So yeah world use is definitely a key to That Just trying to find some different Questions Some locations lend themselves more to Biodynamic wine making

Eg dry equals less disease Yeah it’s definitely going to help isn’t It um If you’ve got less disease pressure um It’s going to mean that there is less of A need to try and You know cure the um whatever problems You might have However you will find biodynamic Vineyards in Climates vineyard in vineyards with lots Of different climates Um and really what the idea is Is that it’s prevention rather than cure So by having your healthier vineyard Your Living soil this organism of a vineyard It means that it’s not going to be Vulnerable or susceptible to diseases That other vineyards may be So even in places which might have more Humid conditions or where Other vineyards might be more Susceptible to disease your biodynamic Vineyard should still Have a level of natural protection Created by the processes by the things You’ve done In the vineyards in preparation Essentially Again just trying to look at some Different questions A bit of repetition Okay it looks like we’re just kind of

Covering the same sort of things Um so If there was quite a lot of questions i Didn’t get to read so if I haven’t answered your question um and You would Like me to please feel free to get in Touch you can contact me On the school educators at wct email address um For your queries regarding biodynamics Or includes anything else Um all that’s left for me is say Thanks for coming thank you for Attending i hope you found that Interesting and useful As i say it’s thrown up quite a few Different questions that you can go and Consider in your own time um But yeah as i say i think it’s Interesting i’ve had an interest in it For a while and it’s uh It’s nice to be able to share it with You all Um i’ll just leave you here with the um Final side with the social media tags if There’s Any of you want to um contact us Um and i will say Yeah thanks once again um i’ll end the Recording here