Applewood Winery is expanding our vineyard in Warwick beyond it's humble beginnings and I am convinced that the vineyard should be converted to Organic or Biodynamic practices.
I have long been aware of Organic principles but only recently considered Biodynamic. But what is organic? "An organic farm, properly speaking, is not one that uses certain methods and substances and avoids others; it is a farm whose structure is formed in imitation of the structure of a natural system that has the integrity, the independence and the benign dependence of an organism" . From the National Organic Farming Association website
Biodynamic practices focus on the vineyard as a living organism too. It goes beyond imitation and treats the vineyard as a living organism. Soil health is of extreme importance to Biodynamics. I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Randall Grahm, the proprietor of Bonny Doon VineyardsinCalifornia who is practicing biodynamics in his vineyard. Randall told me that when he uses the french term terroir he means soul, and when he says soul he means soil.
I am just beginning my exploration of these two concepts. Organic farming is now widely accepted. Biodynamics is not as familiar to people. Organic to me however seems to be swapping one list of chemicals for another that is supposed to be less dangerous. Biodynamics focuses on a more natural method of farming.
I am leaning towards biodynamics after a recent day in the vineyard. I was spreading compost in the vineyard with our Vineyard manager Danielle. We noticed that the compost was literally filled with life. We were spreading it on vines that had an organic herbicie treatment. The"organic" herbicide had left the soil barren of life.
If we are to create wines that are truly alive and unique shouldn't they be farmed that way too?