ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

I have heard a lot about biodynamic wines, and how they are gaining a foothold with both consumers and critics. How is this possible?

—Steven T., Singapore

Dear Steven,

Why would it be impossible? Wine critics and consumers all like good wine, and biodynamics is a form of farming that’s very attentive, and that can have some very yummy results.

The easiest way to describe biodynamics may be to reference organic practices (though how people use the term “organic” varies quite a bit). But most people are familiar with “organic” as a way to avoid synthetic additives and chemicals.

“Biodynamic” takes this idea a step further, as biodynamic farming incorporates ideas about a vineyard as an ecosystem, and also accounts for such things as astrological influences and lunar cycles. A biodynamic wine is made from grapes farmed biodynamically, and means that the winemaker did not use any common manipulations such as yeast additions or acidity adjustments. A wine labeled as “made from biodynamic grapes” means that the vintner used biodynamically grown grapes but followed a less strict list of rules in winemaking.

—Dr. Vinny

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