Last week I was part of a group travelling from BC to Walla Walla to meet with Phillipe Armenier and to visit two Biodynamic vineyards, Hedges Estate Winery and Cayuse Winery. For those of you who don’t know the fascinating gentleman Armenier, he has the answers to all things Biodynamic. For two days, he led us on a journey through the ideas of Rudolf Steiner and how those ideas could impact the way vineyards and wine grapes are managed.
For me, the experience of these two days was inspiring. I was prepared to hurl the shield of science up against the wild ideas of naked dancing in vineyards with clusters grasped in hand. Fortunately (and unfortunately), Biodynamic Agriculture is not that wild. Instead, Biodynamic Agriculture is about a holistic and healing approach to farming, that involves tremendous respect and spirituality for the farm as part of a cosmic whole.
My inspiration came about after I found myself in a beautiful vineyard that had so much charisma and vitality, that I wanted to melt into the vines.
Let me try to explain … ever been to a party that is moving along fine, but an individual walks into the room that captures everyones’ attention to them? They may be young, old, poorly dressed, beautifully dressed, but there is some underlying power and interest that draws the room to them. You know that person has power and attractiveness, and you will want to spend time with them. You may not be able to identify what it is about them that is so interesting, it’s probably not something you can measure, but you know and feel it as a palpable force. So it was with me in the Biodynamic vineyards of Cayuse. My experience with those vines was akin to being in the company of the grooviest person at the best party. I wanted to stay.
A week later in the harsh light of day, I have to admit relating the ideas of Biodynamic Agriculture sounds flakey. However, I really felt the difference in that vineyard, and that feeling made me very excited. At the very least I need to investigate these ideas further and go into Biodynamics with heart wide open. I’ll be blogging about our progress with Biodynamics in our home vineyard, so stay posted! By the way, special thanks to John Clerides and Bradley Cooper for getting all of us organized. And a very special thank you to Phillipe Armenier for starting me on the journey.