The conscious decision to lead a life that provides both pleasure and also combines this with ecologically sustainable actions in harmony with nature is far more than a philosophy. It is at the same time the fundamental requirement for the production of outstanding wines with authentic character.
For many years we pondered the question as to how we could realise the inherited treasure of our forefathers – the unique terroir of our top-ranked vineyard sites – in our wines, and how we could maintain a healthy balance with nature in this god-given resource in order to pass it on to our children. We felt that continuing “as is” in a conventional manner – even involving initial steps taken to be more responsible in the way we handle our natural resources – was out of the question for us.
While we were in the midst of our consideration, during our travels in the USA we came across a book that was to answer our questions: “Biodynamic wine, demystified” by Nicolas Joly. We became involved in initial discussions and considerations of the fascinating subject of biodynamic viticulture. Many French colleagues accompanied us on the path towards a decision, foremost among them Marc Kreydenweiss, who was a trusted adviser at our side for many years, and encouraged us to take this decisive step.
Horn preparations are essential elements of biodynamics. The horns filled
with manure are dug into the earth in autumn.
This contact with biodynamics coincided with our passion for producing wines that have even more typical site or terroir expression. It had been clear to us for some time that we would not be able to achieve this by introducing innovations in the cellar. An intense exchange of views with our colleagues already implementing biodynamic measures ensued, and resulted in our decision in 2005 to transform the Estate in its entirety to this new method of viticulture. In recognition of the fact that biodynamics involves work in very small steps, we can now appreciate that this decision was fundamental, and showed us the way. The soils are more vital, the vines are more resistant, and the wines much more individual than they were in the past.
Lene, ploughing the Kirchenstück site.
Biodynamic principles continue to fascinate us totally with every single day. It allows us to maintain that part of creation that has been given into our custodianship, and to sustain the resources of soil and vine in the long term. In combination with the passionate dedication of my employees, we will be in a position to continue to produce outstanding wines of world-class quality – this is our motivation and goal for the decades to come.
Biodynamic viticultural principles place the highest demand on viticulture, and on the work performed in the vineyard. Instead of technology and chemistry, the wine grower is expected to apply specific and specialist knowledge, he requires intense experience in the vineyard, and must apply a high degree of intuition. Working the soil is done as carefully as possible, in some cases still using horses. Protecting the plants with natural preparations ensures the health of the vines, allowing them to develop the highest possible level of natural resistance.
As wine producers we endeavour to establish a balance between the plant and its environment. This is most readily achieved where we encourage the own, internal strength of the plant. It is for this purpose that biodynamic preparations are used on our wine Estate.
Gravel and manure in horn before being placed in the soil in spring.