Everything you’ve read about organic champagne also goes for biodynamic champagne. However, biodynamic growers take it one step further by thinking of the vineyard, our planet and the cosmos as living organisms. Their movement started at the beginning of the twentieth century. This means it has been around longer than the organic movement, which only started in the 1980s. Biodynamic agriculture is based on the anthroposophical movement founded by Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian scientist and philosopher.
The proof is in the moon
As the first anthroposophist, Steiner believed that the moon, the earth and other planets influence all life on earth, which includes people, animals and plants. This sounds woolly, but it’s actually not that hard to believe. The most famous “proof” of Steiner’s theory is that the oceans are pulled towards the moon, creating high and low tides. Steiner believed that the influence of the moon and planets creates a non-visible network that connects all living things. Because of this network, so he stated, using pesticides, artificial fertilisers, and other unnatural additives in the vineyards harms the soil and, therefore, the health of our planet and all its organisms.
“If the moon has the power to pull up the water in the oceans, then it also has the power to influence the water in grapes”
For this reason, biodynamic growers not only ban pesticides and fertilisers from their vineyards (which is what organic growers do). They also consider the influence of the moon in all its different phases. After all, if the moon has the power to pull up the water in the oceans, then it also has the power to influence the water in their grapes! This is why biodynamic champagne growers work according to a lunar calendar. This calendar dictates when to sow and harvest (and when to back off).
But there’s more to biodynamic champagne than lunar phases. Biodynamic champagne growers also anticipate the influence of planetary positions, magnetic fields, and groundwater flows beneath the vineyards. They carefully study them and adjust their way of working accordingly. As opposed to organic champagne growers, biodynamic growers also prepare the manure before they use it to fertilise their vineyards. They do so by adding specific herbs such as chamomile, nettle and valerian that add nutrients and improve compost composition. They then keep the manure in slots so it can develop through the air that comes in. This results in so-called biodynamic preparations that add many nutrients to the vineyards. These nutrients nurture the soil so that artificial fertilisers and pesticides become redundant. That is if it’s done well.
Want to know more about organic champagne? Read this page!