"A wine property, like any other agricultural property, is considered a living organism. The cultivated soil is not just a medium for the vines, but a living environment and a source of energy for the plant, just like its above ground environment. In this way the vine - a medium - creates and nourishes the terroir in this inhabited, living environment surrounding its roots. These exchanges between the biology of the soil and the root and leaf system allow the expression of terroir in the grapes. Flavours are enhanced."
BIODYNAMIC AGRICULTURE: AN APPROACH LEADING TO THE FUTURE
Among the various "natural" and organic approaches, biodynamic agriculture stands out for its consideration of astrological influences and the cycles of nature, as well as for the use of homeopathic herbal formulations, aimed at balancing and revitalising plant growth rather than curing disease.
They are prepared from processed vegetable, animal and mineral materials:
⊲ MT manure compost supports and enhances the soil decomposition process. It contains all the elements that contribute to the formation of the clay-humus complex. These include a significant variety and number of bacteria.
⊲ Preparation 500, cow dung, acts on the plant. It enhances life below the soil. Its effectiveness has been confirmed after numerous tests: the roots are longer, denser and better distributed.
⊲ Preparation 501, cow's horn silicon, helps the growth of leaves, balanced flowering and the energy necessary for healthy and rich fruiting.
These first three preparations must be strengthened before they can be diffused to the plants.
The remaining preparations, which are developed from wild wormwood, chamomile, nettle, oak bark, lace and valerian, all involve some kind of transformation process - such as fermentation with animal organs - which enhances their primary properties by turning them into humus with specific properties. These are essential, as they are used in the production of compost which directs the fermentation, creating balance and harmony in the soil and the plant.
THE EARTH AND LUNAR CYCLES
The solar cycles, consisting of day, night and seasons, as well as the lunar cycles, are familiar to us. The experiments carried out by Maria Thun more than ten years ago made it possible to observe the cosmic effects on plant growth. These appear to be linked to the positions of the moon, sun and planets in relation to other constellations. A calendar has been established based on her observations. Work and interventions in the vineyard can be improved by choosing the date on which they are carried out.
Carving stimulates vital processes by working the soil at different times of the year, month or even day. Carving depending on the phases of the moon will have a different effect in spring or autumn. Tilling in the morning stimulates the plants, while tilling in the afternoon helps retain water in the soil. It is the vine grower who must decide on the appropriate hoeing and ploughing operations, depending on the soil.