The Institute of Masters of Wine will host an inaugural seminar on Biodynamic wines next week in an effort to unveil some of the ‘mysticism’ surrounding the practice.
The seminar, held on 6 April and entitled Biodynamic Question Time, is the first of its kind for the 50 year-old London institution.
‘I don’t believe there’s been a Biodynamic-only event on this scale before in this country,’ said event chair Beverley Blanning MW.
Top winemakers Olivier Humbrecht MW of Alsace’s Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, Dave Koball of Fetzer in California and Rhône’s Michel Chapoutier will join a panel of biodynamic wine experts including Monty Waldin and Stephen Skelton MW to answer questions on the little-known practice.
‘The Masters of Wine have been talking about doing this for some time. There’s always been an interest there and I feel the time is right. Biodynamics is beset by questions and veiled in mysticism,’ said Blanning.
Biodynamic farming is often compared with homeopathy and can illicit fierce reactions among outsiders. One question to the panel, decanter.com has learned, will ask whether viticulturalists have to accept ‘this pseudo-science’ to grow the best grapes.
Biodynamic viticulture is a form of Organic farming in which the use of synthetic pesticides is forbidden. Many of its theories originate from Austrian Philosopher Rudolf Steiner who believed that plant life was influenced by events occurring in the ‘cosmos’. Great importance is placed on the position of the moon, the planets and the stars and their relative positions, for example, dictate when a producer will prune the vines.
After the seminar, attendees will be invited to take a walk-around tasting of Biodynamic producers’ wines including offerings from Zind-Humbrecht, Clos de la Coulée de Serrant, M. Chapoutier, Domaine Leflaive, Huët, Millton Vineyard and Champagne Fleury.
Written by Oliver Styles