Matt Kramer commented in a recent column that if you’re not sure which wine to buy, you can feel confident that you’ll be getting a good wine if the grapes were grown biodynamically. Last night I saw a wine list that noted which wines were biodynamic. And that got me thinking: Does biodynamic farming guarantee better wine?
The truth is, I know very little about farming. I’ve heard lots of talk about sustainable agriculture, organic farming and now biodynamics--but I can’t say I know all of the concepts behind them. All have their proponents and detractors, but is one really better than the other? Aren’t they all just processes? What about the results?
The wines of Domaine Leroy and Domaine Leflaive are grown biodynamically, so it’s obvious that the biodynamic process works. But does it work for everyone?
I think that saying those wines are great because of biodynamic farming is to overlook the key components in growing great fruit: location and great farmers. Biodynamic farming might be the tool that a great grower uses to produce great fruit from a great location, but something tells me that if that grower chose to be organic, or even chose to use all of the resources modern science has to offer, that they’d still make great wine. Conversely, I don’t think that switching to biodynamic farming can make a marginal site into something world-class. Or does biodynamic farming trump terroir?
To me, saying Domaine Leroy makes great wine because it's farmed biodynamically is like saying Tiger Woods is a great golfer because of the clubs he uses. I couldn’t beat Tiger in a lifetime by simply using his clubs. The clubs are a tool, as is biodynamic farming. It’s the person using the tool that matters.
Isn’t the true test of a vineyard or winery the wine they produce? Why is it important for anyone to know a vineyard is biodynamic? Shouldn’t the result be all that matters? Why does anyone need to wear the “badge” of biodynamic farming?
Personally, I believe in people and their talents. I think everyone needs to have a process. Otherwise, things would be chaotic. I just think there are a lot of different ways to grow grapes and make wine. I judge a wine on how it tastes, not on the process that was used to make it. I’m curious to see what you think.
Charles J Stanton — Eugene, OR — November 6, 2006 6:20pm ET
Zachary Ross — Brooklyn, NY — November 6, 2006 9:45pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — November 6, 2006 11:53pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — November 7, 2006 12:02am ET
Adam Lee — Santa Rosa, CA — November 7, 2006 8:01am ET
Zachary Ross — Brooklyn, NY — November 7, 2006 8:18am ET
Jeffrey Ghi — New York — November 7, 2006 1:16pm ET
Michael Twelftree — Barossa, Australia — November 7, 2006 3:02pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — November 7, 2006 5:03pm ET
John B Vlahos — Cupertino Ca. — November 7, 2006 5:36pm ET
Scott Boles — San Diego — November 7, 2006 11:20pm ET
Apj Powers — Dallas, TX — November 8, 2006 1:57am ET
Apj Powers — Dallas, TX — November 8, 2006 2:30am ET
Scott Boles — San Diego — November 8, 2006 1:05pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — November 8, 2006 3:46pm ET
Paul Webster — Concord, Ca. — November 8, 2006 4:15pm ET
John B Woodward Iii — Lost Canyon CO — November 9, 2006 1:50am ET
Michael Tracy — trabuco canyon CA — November 9, 2006 10:49pm ET
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