Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I am lifting this post from an email I received from Appellation Wine Store, on 10th Avenue and 20th street in NYC. I have always been interested in Rudolph Steiner and this small statement I found to be worth sharing....(btw, they are talking about a Patianna Mendicino Syrah from 2004 in relation to Steiner)...

...Rudolph Steiner would be proud. But who was Mr. Steiner?

We often mention the creator of Biodynamic farming, only to describe him as a turn of the Century Austrian philosopher, but he had a fascinating résumé. Steiner was a sculptor, a playwright and an architect. Also, the Waldorf pedagogy method that blends artistic with intellectual elements, and emphasizes the role of the imagination in learning, was his idea. Further, Steiner was instrumental in developing Anthroposophic medicine which includes homeopathic principles, physical and artistic therapies intended to support the patient's capacity for self-healing.

One of his final achievements was indeed his lectures on agriculture which led to the basis for Biodynamics. In effect, the ultimate goals of his theories are for farms to become self-sustainable and to engage the non-physical beings and cosmic forces in the vineyard. Producers should generate all materials needed such as compost as well as time activities such as the planting of new vines or the application of dynamic preparations in relation to the movement of the moon and planets to maximize their effect.

We would agree that it could take a bit of “faith” to believe in, but a lot of it is common sense, as Kieran Burke, the owner of Patianna, explains: “The moon has an effect on the tides, so why can't it also have an effect on water in the leaves and sap in the plant?" After discovering Steiner’s teaching, Kieran and his wife Patti Fetzer Kieran, decided to strictly follow this farming philosophy. The estate is certified by Demeter.

They “dynamize” their vineyard with “homemade” compost, spray quartz rock powder on leaves to boost photosynthesis and plant cover crop between rows to stop erosion. Their detailed vineyard regimen results in a deep, powerful Syrah, filled with coffee, chocolate, plum notes. The wine would complement lamb or rich meat dishes perfectly. We believe Biodynamic viticulture produces better grapes which is the best argument in favor of Biodynamic techniques. Better grapes equals better tasting wines. All it takes is a little faith to try the wines.

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