What is it?
The principles of biodynamics, a method of permaculture farming, are based around the natural ecosystem and the way plants interact with each other in it.
Biodynamic wines can be a little bit trick. A wine sold as biodynamic (Demeter) can still have different natural additions, 70-90 mg of sulfites and be filtered. Therefore the selection from Caverna do Vinho is always natural even if it is biodynamic to make sure they are always pure.
The production of biodynamic wine is about treating the earth as a living and receptive organism. It uses organic farming methods including compost as fertilizer and avoiding pesticides. It also uses Rudolf Steiner´s formulas to prepare soil supplements and follows a planting calendar that depends upon astronomical configurations.
Besides the biodynamic calendar, no chemicals or ‘manufactured’ additions (like commercial yeast) are allowed in biodynamic wine. Instead, wine growers make special compost preparations with natural ingredients to bolster their vineyards.
In biodynamic wines no chemicals are added to adjust the color so the color you see might be different from the one you are used to.
Who was Rudolf?
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect and esotericist. He was asked for help by a group of farmers who were concerned about the future of agriculture already in 1924. So he gave them lectures on ecological and sustainable approach to agriculture which increased soil fertility without using chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Biodynamics sees the farm as a whole as an organism, it should therefore be a largely self-sustaining system, producing its own manure and animal feed. Rudolf also recommended timing the agricultural acivities (sowing, weeding and harvesting) to utilize the influences on plant growth of the moon and the planets.
Biodynamic uses two types of preparations: those for fertilizing and those for composting. They require combinations of natural substances (manure, herbs and flowers, minerals) and organic materials (cow horns, bladders, skulls) to be buried in the land or sprayed onto compost to help keep nutrients in the earth.