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In Pursuit of Elusive Biodynamic Wines

I guess I’m not too different from any number of millions of people that set New Year’s resolutions for themselves and then proceed to not heed the call of the gym, forsake dessert, and let lapse the desire to reconnect with the friend from high school that you haven’t talked to in 20 years.

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to be a part of Wine Blogging Wednesday every month this year.  #1, I think it’s a great learning opportunity to share with your blogging peers, #2 It drives you into wine drinking areas that you may not have previously considered and #3 It’s fun

Alas, I missed my first Wine Blogging Wednesday (WBW) this month, Wednesday, January 17th, and I’m a little bummed because it was related to Biodynamic wines—an area that I also set a resolution to learn more about in the coming year. 

One of the significant challenges I had with the BioD selection is pure availability of wine—there are not too many producers doing the clearly disciplined BioD farming, a subset of those that farm organically, which is already a small selection out of the total amount of available wine and producers. 

Earlier this month, at a Sunflower Market, which is something like a Wild Oats, or a Whole Foods Market, I picked up the Bonterra Syrah—not BioD, but certified organic.  I figured Bonterra would be an interesting juxtaposition to BioD given Bonterra’s leadership role in organic and sustainable farming.  In fact, I think they are converting some vineyards to BioD, as well, though the Syrah I selected was regulated under the certified organic foods act in California, 1990 and not approved by the Demeter Association, the BioD approving body.  My post would then, therefore, be about the difficulty in locating BioD wines and an interesting tasting about wineries that operate in the organic domain—a net that is cast a bit wider than the quirky BioD.

Then, I was talking with a fellow wine blogger and mentioned the certified organic and he said, “Dude, it’s Biodynamics this month for WBW, not Organic.”  Ah, details, details … Well, yeah, but maybe I can cheat a little bit …

Therefore swayed and not happy then with my initial wine choice, I went to one of the best wine shops in the city and they had one Biodynamic wine—a Sineann Pinot Noir that was $40 + a bottle and to boot, I had already tasted it at a tasting and found it interesting (lively even), but I was hoping to branch out in a different direction instead of plowing the same earth, so to speak.  Plus, I really have to pick and choose my spots regarding impulse buying of $40 wines given that Mrs. Good Grape keeps an eye on the cellar and the checkbook.

Two trips searching for a BioD, I decided to scrap it—I could, ahem, always write an ipso facto post … related to BioD.

So, I guess this is something of a problem with the BioD wines—you really have to search them out.  A quick scan of the wine posts at Fork & Bottle, the hosts for this months edition, and I think scarcity is proven as it’s a diverse lineup of wines, many of them foreign producers.  Dr. Vino, though, did, in fact, taste and write about the Sineann Pinot from Resonance Vineyards that I had tasted at a separate function in November.

My overall take on BioD, given my limited tasting, is that there is something lively and refreshing about it—it’s the difference between drinking water and Gatorade to me.  If I’m thirty, I really like both, but water is fresh, lively and invigorating while Gatorade is the same, but it’s more viscous, more overt, touched by the hand of man, perhaps.

I’ll continue the learning curve on BioD, for sure.  In the meantime, I urge you to check out the posting reviews for this months WBW at Fork & Bottle—I think many people had some interesting discoveries around the freshness of these wines. 


Posted in, Around the Wine Blogosphere. Permalink | Comments (2) |


On 01/23, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

Bonterra has two ranches certified by Demeter, McNab and Butler.  The only wine marketed as biodynamic is the flagship McNab red table wine, a blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and petite sirah, but, at 500 cases, mostly in restaurants.  However, although the label doesn’t cite it, most of the Merlot in their regular bottling comes from the McNab ranch and is biodynamic.  Check it out further at

On 02/06, Jack wrote:

You need to drink a bottle of Gravner sometime. That will change your wine life. (I do not think the 2001 is ready, though…go for any vintage earlier, of either Breg or Ribolla.)


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