May 12-13, 2020
Santa Rosa, CA
Imagine yourself sipping that pure and clean wine, which was kept away from the unnatural taste of those artificial pesticides and other chemicals because of its kind winemakers, wanting to take care of your interest towards a healthy lifestyle! What a satisfyingly neat feeling it might be!
Moreover, the winemaker’s compassion towards making our ecosystem which is to make it sustainable and sound for long term is also of great importance, performing viticulture on total natural basis, using organic manure, cow manure, depending on temperatures, not polluting the soil and giving it time to retain itself after every harvest, etc. are some of the practices which not only make the wine pure but also let the environment breathe in its natural state.
And that is why we say, wine drinkers will eternally love wine, but what makes them feel extremely elated about it when they drink that wine, is when it is nothing but pure, made up of nature’s blessings and with sheer hard work of the winemakers.
Wine is the queen of its kind of grapes, all around the world. But what goes in making that flavor refined and pure is the classification of that wine.
These two types-
It sounds pretty well like purity-based wines but, with a hairline difference in the development of the vineyards, where the grapes are grown.
The eco-surrounding of the vineyard matters the most. It is all about what goes in and what does not, in growing the grapes at the grass root level. It’s all about how you perform viticulture, what do you feed those grape plants will determine whether it is going to be a pure wine or not in the later process. To fall into those purity standards are two wines namely, the Organic wine and Biodynamic wine.
Talking about the organic wine, as the name suggests it is the new-age wine which the winemakers aim to give significance to while producing because it is the ‘new healthy’. Providing enthusiastic wine drinkers with a healthy wine will be nothing but a cherry on the cake!
As per the Fox news website, El Dorado wine from California is one such example where grapes receive total sunlight, and the cool temperatures allow it to ripen fully, protecting it from any flavor acidity. Here, we see how nature is allowed to perform its duty.
Organic wines are generally free from synthetic pesticides and other adulterations but at times in some cases, the sulfites (sulfur dioxide) is a necessary element to be added to prevent damage caused by bacteria, farm beetles and also for more oxidation. This means not all organic wines are not so organic because, though only sulfites, something artificial is been added in it. Still, it’s a dilemma on classifying how organic a wine is because added sulfites are the only artificial elements which go in vineyards.
So, this is a small hindrance in calling a wine organic or not just because a small level of sulfite is added. However, wines which are not fully naturally grown, do not enlist itself in the USDA label which states the wine is completely organic.
The next one in line is the biodynamic wines. These wines are the purest of its kind. They have the privilege of attaching the purest, organic USDA wine labels to their bottle bodies and are also certified by Demeter International because they actually are!
As the history says, it was Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner who pioneered biodynamic agriculture in the early 1920s. He practiced biodynamic farming with keeping in mind not only the grapes but the whole ecosystem- the insects, soil quality, animals, water, using natural minerals, composts, etc.
As it can be ascertained that the farming takes place without any sort of chemical or pesticide, zero yeast additions thus making the final fruit as a result of nature’s hard work. It can be termed a wine which takes into account the grape, people, animals, stars and universe! One such example as per the feed me phoebe website is Tangent Albarino grape grown in California which is certified to be sustainable via sustainability in practice.
And that is why biodynamic winemaking is that ‘spiritual viticulture’. Astrological factors and lunar cycles as per the belief are taken into account, making no stone left unturned in producing wine in such a way which complements the ecosystems making them healthy and healing from within. A special biodynamic calendar is also used to determine the sowing, harvesting of the fruit.
After analyzing these two popular types of wines which bend towards nature, the aspect of sustainability does come to our mind. Zooming to the fact that these wine types cut down the usage of chemicals or pesticides, it becomes certain that in a way or two it is helping the environment stay natural currently which may prove to increase in future sustainability. After all the soil fertility, water levels, water quality, etc. everything is natural, which needs to be retained at its best.
Here, biodynamic winemaking can be closely linked to sustainable development taking place in the vineyards while growing the grapes. Biodynamic winemaking focuses on almost leaving the grape growth in the hands of nature, accepting all the natural occurrences and letting the natural supportive components like soil quality, water, insects, etc. to mold themselves. Hence, it accounts for sustainably viable grape growing, along with complete organic wine without even minute level of sulfites.
One huge example of a winery which is the supreme sustainable wine producer which takes into account the ‘grape’s journey to the bottle’ as per the climate reality project website, is Sonoma County, situated in the north of San Francisco. They have taken the clause of being sustainably viable, very seriously and are meticulous towards working more and more, deriving ways of how the environment can retain itself, along with it helping the growth of grapes! California is the region which is prone to some drought sometime soon, so water conservation and maintaining it by quality is what Sonoma County aims to do. Using solar power, instead of the normal power to run their irrigation pump, is yet an indirect contribution of nature to help growing pure grapes. This shows how clean they are in viticulture, but what more can be derived is that the whole ecosystem is taken into consideration with efforts to utilize nature in such a way that though the core natural resources are used, they are not adulterated to enhance their value and in turn the result they will give.
These practices move towards an ecosystem which is allowed to process, grow or even deplete to some level on its own, for its good. So, for the wine industry, taking interest in sustainable practices of growing grapes is a huge contribution in making the ecosystem and climate long lasting, along with letting it improve the present scenario of winemaking. And nothing, but this practice will lead to a sustainable life for the natural elements which are used.
All in all, the organic winemaking and the biodynamic winemaking are those sustainable path leading methods.