If organic farming is about what vineyards don’t do to the fields/vines/grapes, then biodynamic farming is more about what vineyards do to them. Biodynamic farming is a robust, intentional method that dates back to the 1920s (and predates most of the modern organic movement), when Austrian Rudolph Steiner developed methods for agriculture and livestock management. Biodynamic farming includes many of the credos of organic farming: no chemical intervention. It also adds certain specific mostly herb-based preparations for optimal soil management and harvest. There are processes and timelines for enriching the soil, planting, pruning, and harvesting fruit, based on the phases of the moon as well as astrological signs. Some say that wines made biodynamically display the truest expression of terroir, as they are made in harmony with earth’s cycles.
For the most part, biodynamic agriculture, including wine, is certified by an organization called Demeter.