02 maio 2008

Organic and Biodynamic Wines

This is a vast subject growing in importance.
Although an increasing proportion of wine producers follow organic methods,
there are no universally agreed rules for organic winemaking, or oenology.
However there are several certification schemes for organic vine-growing, or viticulture.
It is quite a commitment of time (years), effort and money
to be officially certified organic and any producers,
however enthusiastic about the general principles, cannot be bothered to go through the necessary hoops.
Organic viticulture involves finding more natural alternatives to pesticides, insectcides and herbicides.
There is no doubt that fewer and fewer agrochemicals are being used in viticulture, just as in agriculture generally.
Some wine drinkers report that they feel much better after drinking organic wine than those produced using agrochemicals.

Biodynamic viticulture is something much more extreme.
Following the teachings of Rudolf Steiner,
it involves administering homeopathic doses of often bizarre-sounding substances
prepared by, for example, burying manure-filled cow horns fro six months,
according to the cosmic calendar.
Scientific explanations for all this are thin on the ground
but in many cases the vines look much healthier and
resulting fruit tastes much more intense.
Some argue that this is simply because biodynamic growers pay such close attention to each vine ather than as a specific result of the techniques.
© Copyright 2000-2008 Jancis Robinson

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