Want to add your events to the wine-pages diary? It’s free! Click here
This is part II of a two-part tasting
The subject of biodynamic wines is highly controversial. A system of organic farming, it was first proposed by Austrian philosopher and social reformer, Rudolf Steiner. A self-declared clairvoyant, Steiner married organic farming to esoteric concepts that some find hard to accept. The most famous is the use of dung-filled cow horns to be buried in the vineyard in the autumn, or perhaps the stag’s bladder, stuffed with Yarrow flowers and buried in the winter.
Biodynamics is a strict organic farming regime, but work in the vineyard and winery is also dictated by phases of the moon and zodiac constellations. That, along with those mystical aspects of the system, sees some people express deep scepticism about biodynamics. And yet, many – possibly even most – of the world’s greatest wine estates have converted fully to the biodynamic approach, from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in Burgundy, to Château d’Yquem in Sauternes, to Domaine Zind-Humbrecht in Alsace. The ever-growing list of the world’s very top estates practising or in the process of conversion to biodynamics is staggering.
Our budget doesn’t quite stretch to Romanée-Conti or Yquem, but in this tasting Tom will explain the history and the processes involved in following the biodynamic regime, while we taste six examples of certified biodynamic wines. Hopefully it will help us get a handle on the system, and whether the results bear up in the glass.
The selection of six wines for this tasting would cost £79.75, but we have negotiated an exclusive price of £70. We kick of in the Pfalz in Germany and Alsace in France, two regions with a high number of biodynamic followers and some of the system’s most passionate advocates. Still in Europe, we’ll have a gorgeous wine from Galicia in northwest Spain; not an Albariño, but a red wine made from the Sousón variety. From Slovenia comes a classic Ribolla from one of the country’s best and most dynamic estates, while Italy – another stronghold of biodynamics – is represented by a barrel-aged red blend from Tuscany. Finally, crossing to Chile, their pioneering biodynamic estate provides a sumptuous red to complete our line-up.
This tasting runs over two sessions, from 7pm – 8pm each evening. The ticket price of £25 covers both sessions and is per household, not per person. We’ll open three wines each night, but they’ll drink just as well over the next couple of days so nothing will be wasted. You may also attend without purchasing the wines.