What does it mean to farm biodynamically?

When farming biodynamically we’re using organic farming practices, but we’re taking it a step further with a deeper focus and understanding on the land and the vines. By looking beyond the vines in the vineyard and the property as a whole, our goal is to integrate our land, animals, bees, gardens, and vineyards to create a closed loop and holistic approach to farming. This biodiversity and mindfulness about our practices leads to a deeper understanding and connection with the property. To successfully farm biodynamically, it’s crucial to believe in this holistic and integrated approach, otherwise the land will not benefit. When farming organically, we focus on soil health. The addition of biodynamic farming creates a focus on vine health — the two go hand-in-hand.  

Our biodynamic practices start with the preparations we use in the vineyard to create vines that can defend themselves against disease and infection. There are 9 biodynamic preparations in total— 2 of which are horn preparations — the others are compost preparations. In the spring and fall we spray 500 Horn Manure — this is sprayed on the soil during a descending moon to drive the forces downward stimulating root development and to encourage microorganisms in the soil. Our other spray is 501 Horn Silica, which is sprayed on the ascending moon into the sky for the silica to land on vines. This helps with photosynthesis and adds verticality to the vines and freshness in the wine.

The remaining preparations are compost based — we make our own preparations 502-507 on-site, foraging yarrow, chamomile, nettle, and dandelion from our vineyards, each having different benefits that enrich the compost pile, as well as the barrel compost.

People may ask: how do you analyze the efficacy of biodynamic farming since there isn’t significant scientific evidence backing it up? Our answer: we find that there is more expression in the vines and more life in the soil. If we have a healthy living soil, our wines will be more expressive of the terroir. During harvest, the fermentations are healthier and native. We have found that our biodynamic farming practices have created more resilient vines that are healthier and have built up an immunity to virus and disease. In the end, we feel the wines have more identity and more expression of their origin.