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Biodynamic wine, the ultimate guide

by Alessio Petito

Biodynamic wine

Biodynamic wine, what it is and what is meant by Biodynamic Agriculture

I know, in the last few years you've heard a lot about natural wine and biodynamic wine, but you've only found confusing articles that have made things even more confusing.

Don't worry in this article I'll tell you about Biodynamic Wine clearly. If you follow me to the end I will also give you super advice on how to get the best approach with this type of wine.

Before talking about biodynamic wine, it is useful to quickly introduce the figure of Rudolf Steiner, the theorist of this philosophical approach to viticulture.

The theorist of biodynamic agriculture

Rudolf Steiner (1861- 1925) was a German theosopher who dealt, at the level of philosophical and spiritual interpretation, with many topics, including that of the progress of agriculture, obtainable only through a return to ancestral practices.

He tackled this subject in 1924, shortly before his death, through a cycle of eight lectures entitled Scientific-spiritual impulses for the progress of agriculture. In them there was a strong drive for a correlation between productive activity and cosmic-spiritual forces that increased the fertility of the soil.

His followers, the agronomist Erhard Bartsch and the chemist Franz Dreidax, first theorised biodynamic agriculture and then established the Demeter (after World War II, Demeter International) the body that today has the authority to certify biodynamic wine.

The main objective of biodynamic agriculture is to rebalance agricultural production with the earth's ecosystem, the soil and the life that develops and proliferates in it.

At the heart of the production of biodynamic products, therefore, is the fertiliser, which must be absolutely natural and not obtained from synthetic products, as it makes the earth alive according to Steiner and his followers.

Objectives of Biodynamics

The goals of biodynamic agriculture are:

  • Keeping the soil fertile
  • Making plants vigorous
  • Have a totally natural approach to the land and the environment
  • Promoting plant and animal biodiversity
  • Get high quality products

How to produce biodynamic wine

Principles of Biodynamics

  • Compost, a mixture obtained from the humification of organic substances such as manure, pruning residues or garden waste (cut grass or leaves) by macro and microorganisms that operate in the presence of oxygen and balance between the chemical elements of the substances involved.
  • Lunar Phases, it is believed that the Moon in perigee (maximum distance of the Moon from the Earth) has a substantially hardening and unpropitious effect in contrast to what happens when it is in Apogee, a position with extremely beneficial effects.
  • Zodiac Calendar, according to Maria Thun's theories, earth signs affect root growth, water signs affect leaves, air signs affect flowers and fire signs affect fruit.
  • Holistic approach, as a farm is considered one with cosmic forces.

Biodynamic Practices

  • Green manure, the introduction of plants with special tasks into the soil. For example, leguminaceous plants that essentially regulate the volume of nitrogen in the soil.
  • Crop Rotation, agronomic technique that provides for the rotation of crops within a given parcel, in order to keep it alive and productive.
  • Limit or if possible eliminate mechanization from the production process.


Preparations in biodynamic agriculture, so also in viticulture, to produce biodynamic winebelong to two broad categories, spray and heap.


  • 500, the infamous Cornoletame, which consists of filling the horn of a cow that has given birth at least once with manure. The horn is buried, in the case of biodynamic wine between the rows of vines, and left to ferment until Easter when it has turned into humus. It is mixed and diluted with water (dynamized) and then sprayed on the soil.
  • 501, the Cornosilice, similarly the horns of cows are filled with a dynamized preparation based purely on Quartz, Feldspar and Orthoclase, sprayed on the plants to make them more fertile.
  • Fladen, also has the function of improving the fertility of the soil, and is a mixture of manure, rock flour and eggshells which follows the practice of the preceding preparations.

Cumulus are 6 which are obtained from medicinal herbs composted or macerated under special environmental conditions, often in containers made from parts of animal bodies:

  • 502, Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium)
  • 503, Matricaria Chamomilla
  • 504, Urtica Dioica
  • 505, Quercus Robur
  • 506, Taraxacum Officinalis
  • 507, Valeriana Officinalis

They must all be distributed over the soil by dynamization, then mixed with water.

Do you think it's over?

This is the work in the vineyard.

Natural principles in the cellar for biodynamic wine

In the winery, to produce biodynamic wine, we do not use laboratory-selected yeasts that mechanically trigger alcoholic fermentation. We use the indigenous yeasts present in the cellar, which select themselves over the years, triggering spontaneous fermentation, which enhances the aromas of the wine.

Of course, the pesticides.

Here we come to the advice I mentioned at the beginning.

Biodynamic wine is always a discovery as they often differ from vintage to vintage, from plot of land to plot of land, and therefore each one can be called unique. We speak of  natural wine par excellence.

Their habitat is the amphora, which is why they have virtually unlimited ageing potential.

Apewineboxes offers you an unlimited choice between single bottlesmore than 3000 and our wine box related. You can taste a mixed case from a single winery, or try biodynamic wine through the trails we've designed for you.

The advice is: don't buy just one bottle before evaluating biodynamic wines. Try at least 6I'm sure you won't want to drink any more.


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