|Alex dynamising 501|
We were up very early today preparing biodynamic preparation 501 to spray on the vineyard.
Biodynamics is based on organic practices but also uses natural energy forces (like those generated by the moon), medicinal plants (such as yarrow, chamomile, stinging nettle and dandelion), as well as mineral and natural cow manure composts. This strengthens the vines and produces healthier, more vital wines, reflecting the character of the vineyard.
501 is made using crushed powdered quartz which has been stuffed into a horn of a cow, buried in the ground in spring and dug up in the autumn. Like horn manure (preparation 500) it is dynamised in rain water and then sprayed over the vines. Preparation 501 is used to enhance growth and to help prevent fungal diseases. At this time of year it needs to be sprayed as near to sunrise as possible for maximum effect and to prevent burning of the leaves.
Alex thinks that I'm completely bonkers but we will see! Some of the best wines in the world practice biodynamic farming, including Coulee de Serrant, Domaine de Romanee Conti, Domaine Laflaive, Beaux Freres in Oragon and Henschke in Australia. In Burgandy alone there are more than forty biodynamic estates.