By Andrew McMurray
At Zachys, we gravitate toward anything that says sustainably farmed, because it lets me know that the people behind the product are taking care of every little detail—a sure sign of quality. In the wine world, we do not see sustainable or organic as much as we see biodynamic. And biodynamic has gone from the cutting edge years ago to commonplace today!
â€‹Biodynamic winemaking is a few steps beyond organic winemaking and is not merely an approach to agriculture, but rather a philosophy and world-view in action. A biodynamic producer treats the vineyard as a living system that is self-sustaining, but acts harmoniously with the rest of the natural world. Biodynamic wines are produced using organically grown grapes—no pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers, or synthetic chemicals of any kind are allowed. Harvest is done by hand, the vineyards are plowed by hand or by horses, and only natural indigenous yeasts are used. A biodynamic grower also takes into account lunar and cosmic rhythms and other natural cycles of the Earth, using a series of techniques to enhance the life of the soil. The guiding idea behind biodynamic is healthy vineyards; it’s hard to argue against such a system. This practice becomes harder in cooler climates, such as Burgundy, where variables are more extreme and create more challenges for winemakers.
Biodynamics At a Glance
A farm or vineyard is considered biodynamic if it has achieved certification through Demeter, an internationally recognized certifying body, for a minimum of three years if farmed conventionally or one year if farmed organically. The entire farm or vineyard area must be certified, not just a portion, and it must be inspected annually to maintain biodynamic certification.
Wine can be labelled as made from biodynamically grown grapes, if the vineyard is certified biodynamic, OR the wine can be labelled as a biodynamic wine, if the Demeter Wine Processing Standard is also met. In this case, biodynamic practices extend to the winemaking—avoiding common manipulations such as yeast additions or acidity adjustments.
At Zachys—we carry hundreds of biodynamic wines, from incredible producers like Grivot, Zind-Humbrecht, Pontet-Canet, Mugnier, Araujo, Chapoutier, Dagueneau, Grgich, and more! Visit us online at Zachys.com or in Scarsdale at our newly remodeled store at 16 East Parkway to give Biodynamics a try—you won’t be disappointed.
Biodynamic Producer Highlights:
Bonterra (Mendocino, California) Sustainable vineyard practices have been on the mind of Bonterra since the 1990s. Bonterra has become one of the largest organic/biodynamic wineries in the United States. Located in a steep valley of Mendocino County, McNab Ranch was originally a sheep ranch, making it a logical move to turn it into a biodynamic winery.
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht (Alsace, France) Zind-Humbrecht is a winery located in Turckheim, Alsace that specializes in Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Gris. Zind-Humbrecht was certified biodynamic in 2002, but has been practicing these techniques since 1998.
Grgich (Napa, California) Committed to natural winegrowing and sustainability, they farm five estate vineyards without artificial fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides; rely on wild yeast fermentation; and use passion and the art of winemaking to handcraft food-friendly, balanced, and elegant wines.
Founded in 1944, and growing ever since, Zachys has built its business on offering one of the most complete selections of fine wine and spirits in the country. SERVICE is our motto. Our website offers thousands of selections complete with label images and tasting notes and an inventory system that updates constantly. Our brick and mortar store is located in the heart of Scarsdale, across the street from the Scarsdale Metro-North train station.
Zachys Wine & Liquorâ€¨
16 E Parkwayâ€¨