Organic

A brief breakdown of three key viticultural systems:

Conventional
By no means is all conventional viticulture damaging, but decades of spraying insecticides, fungicides, pesticides can lead to the death of every living thing in the vineyard. In some of the most intensively farmed vineyards the vines are weak, with poor resistance to disease and shallow roots which return to the surface to find nutrients provided by soluble fertilisers. This came about, partly because the growers were tempted to produce higher yields – (more wine equals more income) and partly to avoid risk of disease, which might affect the output. Although many responsible (typically lower yield) wine-makers keep such intervention to a minimum, the fear remains that trace chemicals may be present in the finished wine.

Organic
Here the grower is trying to grow a healthy vine, able to sustain itself naturally and to withstand pests without the use of chemicals. The emphasis is on creating a balanced eco-system in the vineyard, with healthy, living soil and biodiversity around the vines. They encourage grasses, plants and flowers, insects and birds. Often attracting natural predators such as ladybirds to control the less benign insects, such as spiders. Widely referred to as Bio in Europe. Whilst they have much in common, Bio is not the same as Biodynamic.

Biodynamic
Organic viticulture taken to the extreme, ruled by the lunar calendar – man, moon and earth in perfect harmony. Based on a series of lectures given by the Austrian Philosopher Rudolf Steiner to a group of German farmers in 1924 in which he proposed a holistic, spiritual approach to farming, emphasising the interconnectedness of the universe with soil, plants and animals. It’s a self-sustaining, self-nourishing system, in which decisions are synchronised with the Lunar Calendar. Maria Thun (the gnarly German guru who died in 2012) and her son Matthias publish the annual calendar in which, depending on the position of the moon and planets, the lunar month is divided into four types of days. Fruit, Flower, Leaf and Root. Biodynamism captures the imagination with its strange-sounding rituals, such as dynamising rainwater or burying a cow horn filled with cow manure through the winter, and its widespread use of Yarrow, Nettle, Dandelion and Camomile.

Germany

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer

Clemens Busch (Punderich) BIODYNAMIC

Kirsten (Klusserath) ORGANIC

Thorsten Melsheimer (Reil) ORGANIC

Harald Steffens-Kess (Reil) ORGANIC

Rudolf Trossen (Kinheim-Kindel) BIODYNAMIC

Loch – Weinhof Herrenberg (Schoden) ORGANIC

Rheingau

JB Becker (Walluf) ORGANIC

Peter-Jakob Kuhn (Oestrich) BIODYNAMIC

Fred Prinz (Hallgarten) ORGANIC

Asbach-Kretschmar (Oestrich-Winkel) ORGANIC

Himmel (Hochheim) ORGANIC under conversion

Ahr

Christophe Richter (Ahrweiler) ORGANIC

Rheinhessen

Kuhling-Gillot (Bodenheim) ORGANIC

Riffel (Bingen) ORGANIC

Battenfeld-Spanier (Hohen-Sulzen) ORGANIC

Baden

Jurgen von der Mark (Bad Bellingen)

Sachsen

Klaus Zimmerling (Dresden) ORGANIC

California

Green and Red (Chiles Canyon/Napa) ORGANIC

Porter Creek (Russian River Valley/Sonoma) ORGANIC

Italy

Albani (Oltrepo Pavese) ORGANIC-NATURAL

Cascina Besciolo (Gorzegno)

Cascina Corte (Dogliani)

Il Macchione (Montepulciano) Organic

Terre a Mano (Carmignano-Bacchereto) Biodynamic

Guccione (Monreale) BIODYNAMIC

Val Cerasa – Bonaccorsi (Piedimonte/Etna) Organic

Valentina Cubi (Fumane) ORGANIC

Bosco del Merlo (Annone Veneto) ORGANIC

France

Burgundy

JN Gagnard (Chassagne-Montrachet) ORGANIC

Michel Lafarge (Volnay) BIODYNAMIC

Oronce de Beler – La Maison Romane (Vosne-Romanee) BIODYNAMIC (very low S02)

Huber-Verdereau (Volnay) BIODYNAMIC

David Juillard – 36eme Ouvree (Hautes-Cotes) ORGANIC

Bordeaux

Chateau Fougas (Cotes de Bourg) BIODYNAMIC

Peybonhomme Les Tours and La Grolet (Blaye and Cotes de Bourg) BIODYNAMIC

Rhone

Domaine Banneret (Chateauneuf-du-Pape) ORGANIC

Pascal Chalon (Tulette) BIODYNAMIC

Saint-Siffrein – Claude Chastan (Chateauneuf-du-Pape) ORGANIC

Domaine Coriancon – Francois Vallot (Vinsobres) BIODYNAMIC

Domaine de Fauterie (Saint-Peray) ORGANIC

Grand Jacquet (Ventoux) ORGANIC

Domaine des Bruyeres – David Reynaud (Beaumont-Monteux) BIODYNAMIC

Loire

Clos des Quarterons (St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil) BIODYNAMIC

Domaine du Bouchot (Pouilly-sur-Loire) BIODYNAMIC

Pascal and Beatrice Lambert – Domaine les Chesnaies (Cravant-les-Coteaux) BIODYNAMIC

Jo Pithon (Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay) ORGANIC

Stephane Orieux – Domaine de la Bregeonnette (Vallet) ORGANIC

Alsace

Barmes Buecher (Wettolsheim) BIODYNAMIC

East

Domaine du Perron (Villebois/Bugey) NATURAL

Spain

Garmendia (Vizmalo/Burgos) ORGANIC

Bodegas Vinicola Real (Albelda de Iregua/Rioja Alta) SOME ORGANIC

Hungary

Horst Hummel (Villany) ORGANIC

Champagne

Barrat-Masson (Villenauxe-La-Grande/Sezannais) ORGANIC

Christophe Lefevre (Bonneil/Vallee de la Marne) BIODYNAMIC

Leclerc-Briant (Epernay) BIODYNAMIC

Georges Laval (Cumieres/Vallee de la Marne) BIODYNAMIC