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Biodynamic wine!

March 20, 2007

I am no lover of wine and about the only difference I know about them is between red and white.

But I was just doing a Google search on biodynamics – to see whether my recent article on the subject shows up – when I came across an article in STOMP! about biodynamic wine.

The article was written by Koh Boon Pin whom, I believe (despite my ignorance about wines), is quite a wine expert? It’s about Cullen wines from a vineyard in Margaret River in South-western Australia.

Koh writes that Vanya Cullen, youngest child of the wine producing family, in 2003 steered the family estate into new territory after attending a seminar by the Biodynamic Association of Australia.

Biodynamics was developed by German visionary Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s in response to farmers who were not able to improve the declining health of their farms with new fertilisers.

‘Everyone says it differently, but biodynamics is about working with Nature, not trying to control it,’ says Vanya.

‘It’s about keeping living systems,’ she adds. ‘If you put chemicals on soil, you’re killing it, so what we do is to find alternative solutions by keeping everything alive.’

Despite having an ‘unbelievable’ number of weevils, she adds, the Cullen vines are dark green and very healthy, unlike some other vineyards in Margaret River, which she declines to name.

Another aspect of biodynamics is linking plant growth with the rhythms of the cosmos. So at the Cullen estate, the grapes are hand harvested on a full moon when there is a lot of water in the atmosphere because of the bigger tides.

Though it is early days where its biodynamic approach is concerned, Vanya points to the vineyard’s brighter fruit flavours, better tannins and cleaner wild yeast fermentations.

Having tasted the wines, I believe she’s on to a good thing.

While I don’t know about wines, I can vouch that biodynamic foods in general are great stuffs. So if you are into wine drinking, do check it out.

Cullen biodynamic wines are available from Hai Choo Wines & Spirits, tel: 6273-8933.

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