Some of the best biodynamic wines are produced by small-scale, independent growers all over the globe, while other examples incorporate prestigious labels.
Below, you’ll find some great biodynamic wines reviewed by the Decanter team to help you raise a toast to the wider movement for environmental protection on Earth Day 2022 – on Friday, 22 April.
Taking inspiration from scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner, biodynamics is rooted in a holistic vision of vineyard management, respectful of soil and nature and promoting a form of ecological harmony.
It is also associated with lower intervention in the winemaking cellar, to a stronger extent than organic approaches.
As with organics, some wineries choose to pursue certification, while others have long adopted biodynamic principles without making this ‘official’. Certification bodies to look out for on wine bottle labels include Demeter and Biodyvin.
As Decanter’s Amy Wislocki writes in her recent article of biodynamics in winemaking, ‘both Biodyvin and Demeter have rules on growing and vinification that can be stricter than organic alone – for example, less use of copper sulphate per hectare, and the use of natural yeasts for fermentation’.
Châteaux Palmer, Pontet-Canet and Climens in Bordeaux are leading proponents of biodynamic wines, but others in the region have been embracing the methods, as Simon Woolf highlighted in this recent article.
Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, the highly regarded chef de cave and executive vice-president at Louis Roederer, owner of Cristal, has credited biodynamics with enhancing a ‘fight for freshness’ in Champagne vintages, in particular.
He has previously spoken of how biodynamic approaches encourage greater attention to detail in the vineyard and critical thinking.
Some producers have said biodynamic approaches enhance the expression of terroir in the glass, although the skill and expertise of the winemaker is inevitably a big factor in terms of overall wine quality.
Higher costs can be a downside of biodynamics for producers.