At the moment Dom Perignon discovered champagne, he is said to have cried out to an assistant, “Come quickly! I am tasting stars!”
That’s sort of what’s going on with advocates of biodynamie.
The idea is that lunar cycles and the position of certain constellations during cultivation may have a significant effect on grapes and the wines they will become. Biodynamie stresses the organic fertility of the soil, down to its microscopic microbial ferment, but adds to that terrestrial focus a cosmic dimension from the astronomical sphere.
Many American winemakers are incorporating some aspects of biodynamie into their winery operations. There are biodynamic certification programs – the best-known run by an international ssociation called Demeter – but many growers who endorse the basic philosophy still avoid the lack of flexibility inherent in certification programs, whether for organic or biodynamic farming.
Weekly contributing writer Stephen Humphreys ponders these stellar pursuits in this week's Local Dish.