Is biodynamic wine really worth the hype?

If you’re partial to a drop of vino (let’s be honest, who isn’t?!), then maybe it’s time to try biodynamic wine. And while it probably comes as no surprise that biodynamic wine boasts a more natural approach to wine-making, including less chemical intervention, what does it all really mean? We chatted to Tractorless Vineyard’s wine maker, Jeff Aston, to get the inside scoop on biodynamic wine to see if it’s really worth the hype.

Bio dynamic wineQ: How long does organic red wine last for once opened?

“Organic wines technically should last just as long as regular wines, if they are made well.”

Q: Which blend of wine is less in calories and sugars? Or better for the health conscious?

“Well this is really like asking how long a piece of string is because it really comes down to how much sugar, if any, the winemaker has left in each individual blend. Generally more commercial and bigger brands will often contain a higher amount of sugar and hence calories.

“More often white wines will more often have sugar than red wines. If its antioxidants you’re after then red is best as most of the antioxidants are found in the skins, stems and seeds of grapes and red wines are fermented with all of these included. You could also try what are called ‘orange’ wines, which is basically white wines fermented with their skins, which extracts more of these antioxidants.”

Biodynamic wineQ: What does Biodynamic actually mean and what is the difference between the two

“We often get asked this in our cellar door. To classify as an organic wine is just a matter of not using any synthetic products on the vineyard and in the winemaking process, whereas biodynamic has a holistic philosophy involved. Biodynamics was developed over 100 years ago by Rudolf Steiner and a large part of the ideas behind it are quite astrological. We all know that the moon can influence water and Steiner believed that other planets had an influence over other elements on the earth such as clays and sands. Based on this, he developed a process of agriculture. Thus, biodynamics is treating the vineyard as a complete system, including managing the energy within it.”

Q: Is biodynamic better for you?

“I personally believe biodynamic wine is far better for you for a number of reasons. Firstly the minerals and vitamins in biodynamically grown foods are in perfect balance and harmony. One of the first things we notice when we convert a vineyard is the massive improvement in the plants natural balance, which in turn flows through to the grapes and the wines.
“Secondly we believe that the foods contain a massive amount of chi or the energy of life which in turn increases your energy of life and helps to balance all of your vitamins and minerals.”


Bio dynamic wineQ: What are the best brands you reccomend out there for Organic and biodynamic red wine.

“I will mention our brand Tractorless Vineyard, which is only in its infancy and although we are not yet certified I love some of the wines we are producing and they are what I drink most regularly. Lark Hill Winery in Canberra is biodynamic and is also a firm favourite, with some really interesting varieties. If you want something on a bigger scale then Tamburlaine Wines in the Hunter Valley is probably one of the biggest certified organic wineries in NSW.

“The tricky thing is that a large number of wines are organic and biodynamic but they make no reference to this on their labelling or their branding. I know here locally in the Southern highlands probably 40-50 per cent of vineyards here are run either organically or biodynamically.”

Shop Jeff’s recommendations:

Lark Hill Biodynamic Shiraz Viognier $39.99

Tamburline Wines 2014 Orange Reserve Sauvignon Blanc $33.00