Before you freak, let me just tell you my theory: you can’t be a great biodynamic wine maker unless you are a great winemaker.
If you’re a great wine maker, going biodynamic* can add a whole other dimension to your wines. More aromatics, more flavor components, subtle structural and finishing elements.
I saw this again at yesterday’s “Return To Terroir” tasting, an annual event I attend sporadically. There were great wines and not-so-great. But this year, everyone seemed to feel biodynamic isn’t a gimmick any more. It’s a growing system for people who are passionate about their grapes, their vineyards and their wines – in a certain way.
Winemaker/farmer Mike Benziger calls biodynamic a natural “energy management system.” Basically, I think he is successful by paying very close attention to his vineyards and treating them like an integral part of Mother Earth instead of like grape-growing machines. Modestly, he claims that in starting to farm biodynamically, “the biggest change is in the farmer!”
*Want to know more about what biodynamics is – and isn’t? Jim Fullmer was at this tasting, too, bringing biodynamic bread, cheese, yogurt, etc. He’s the exec director of the US branch of the biodynamic certifying organization Demeter http://www.demeter-usa.org/