Monday, 17 December 2012

Memory lane...

I'm going to take you all on a trip down memory lane:

It's sometime in 2010, there's a great controversy raging, everyone wants to have an opinion on Biodynamics. There's a website called Biodynamics is a hoax there are more op ed pieces than I can think of to link to.

It's now late 2012 and Jacob's Creek, yep Jacob's Creek have launched a Biodynamic Shiraz. I'll let that sink in for a moment, one of the largest wine brands in the world has decided that grabbing the Biodynamic flag is a good way for their brand to go. Admittedly it's pretty easy to do this in the McLaren as there are a host of excellent growers all working Biodynamically, off the top of my head I'm listing Battle of Bosworth, Gemtree, Chapel Hill, Kangarilla Road, Paxton, and I'm sure there are others a quick Google search could find. But really my point is that somehow in the last couple of years, people have just stopped ranting and raving about Biodynamics.  Why would this be the case? After all, Biodynamics hasn't changed, it's still pretty much the same thing that it was 50 years ago.
now going all bd, getting down with the Steiner loving....

What's that you say, the world has moved on? Really, there's something else to get the goat of the professional troublemakers?

Natural wines... Oh, yep, that makes sense, all the people ranting about Biodynamics, now rant about natural wines, I'm sure that all their carefully constructed philosophical and semantic arguments as to why natural wine can't possibly exist will prove so much comfort and satisfaction as it creeps ever so slowly more mainstream and as the producers that favour it become more and more accepted.

I for one am waiting for the Echo Falls minimal intervention, soft and fruity red. That and the Gallo family vineyard's zero SO2 Sauvignon....

3 comments:

Max Allen said...

Yes, a BD shiraz from JC ... who'da thunk it? But no surprise, really: Jacobs Creek/Orlando have long been early adopters: they moved to screwcaps on riesling with one of their brands a couple of years before the well-publicised Clare Valley move in 2000 ...

I reckon this new BD wine is probably from one of the Paxton vineyards; wherever it's from, it'll be from a certified vineyard, meaning the farming practices would conform with a European view of BD.

I wrote about the slow, slow move by some Australian BD producers to explore indigenous plants and aboriginal astronomy/atrology on my (sorely in need of updating) web site, Red White and Green:

..Although he was very clear about how and why to make and apply the biodynamic preps, Steiner also says many times throughout his Agriculture lectures that his ideas were indications, that more work needed to be done, and people should not be afraid to try variations out for themselves. He even responded to a question about whether stag bladders could be substituted for something else in the yarrow preparation by saying ‘It is entirely possible that somewhere there is another suitable kind of animal - perhaps indigenous to some corner of Australia.’

This for me is a very exciting part of biodynamics - how the ideas and methods developed in cool, wet middle Europe can be adapted to a hotter, drier Australia. And how ancient Australian knowledge of the stars and the thoroughly un-European seasons could perhaps augment biodynamic practice.

‘We want to do it in an Australian way,’ says winemaker Stephen Henschke. ‘We use casuarina (She-oak) here for one of the compost teas, for example, rather than the horsetail (equisetum) used in Europe. And I’ve heard of some people using burying manure in emu eggs instead of cow horns to make the 500.’ ...

Dave said...

The Mayan's preicted this you know Max?

Donald Edwards said...

Max, cheers for the proper comment, annoyingly I didn't ask Steven Henshke about BD when I was there, it sounds like I'd have really appreciated his opinions.
I have to say I'd wondered whether Paxton's would have been the source of the fruit. It rather amuses me to think of Jacob's Creek Shiraz and Mollydooker coming from neighbouring plots just with different harvest times and watering regimes. Sill, I guess that's the joy of wine.

Dave, so apparently the Mayan's were all about this being a cyclical thing, which to me, at least, is starting to sound just a little Steiner...