My Latest in Washington Tasting Room Magazine:
Growing Biodynamically in Washington State
With few biodynamic wineries in the state, will younger buyers help shift the balance?
In 2022, French biodynamic winemaker Gérard Bertrand stopped in Seattle to promote his bestselling book Nature at Heart. The former soccer star and international biodynamic authority chose Washington State for a reason.
“When I had the idea to tour in the United States for the launch of my new book, I knew I wanted to stop in Seattle,” says Bertrand. “First, because Washington is historically one of the most organic-friendly states in the USA, according to the Organic Trade Organization. Second, because Seattle is located in one of the top wine-producing regions in the U.S.”
Following Nature’s Rhythms
Currently, three of Washington’s approximate 1,000 wineries hold Demeter Certified Biodynamic® certification: Hedges Family Estate and Domaine Magdalena, both on Red Mountain, and Wilridge Winery in Naches Heights in Yakima.
Simply put, biodynamic certification draws from the agricultural teachings of the 19th century Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner. He developed the system as a remedy for post-war farmers suffering from dying soils caused by commercial fertilizers and pesticides.
As an antidote, biodynamics promote healthy soil through natural remedies. These include sprays, or ‘teas,’ made from herbs, minerals, and composts, then applied following celestial rhythms. Rather than commercial monocultures, biodynamics also promotes biodiversity, and considers the entire farm a complete, interdependent organism. Vineyards and wineries practicing biodynamics fall under this ‘farm’ umbrella.
“One of the keys to biodynamics is that the farmer is considered part of the farm,” says Paul Beveridge, attorney and owner of Wilridge Winery, Washington’s first certified biodynamic and organic winery, distillery, and vineyard. “The farm is a complete organism, where there are no outside inputs. Everything is returned to the farm via composting and livestock, and the farmer is sort of the brain of the organism.” READ MORE HERE.
I’m pleased to share my article “Growing Biodynamically in Washington State” with you.