I was tongue-tied this morning. I felt like writing here, but felt issued-out. So I got on the case of some poor unsuspecting publicist who undoubtedly thought they wrote a kick-drop press release (see below). Later in the afternoon, I got a call from the Coturri Winery. They're keeping me in the loop about a depressing milestone in Biodynamics.
Be prepared for lower biodynamic wine standards than for organic wines. Organically made wines cannot have sulfites added.
According to the US Demeter, the organization stamping approval on biodynamic wines, there will be two categories;
* Biodynamically Farmed
Both allow the addition of sulfites, up to 100 parts per million of sulfite.
Personally, I don’t care that much about the sulfite addition (though, I would like sulfur from a naturally mined product and not some synthetic petroleum based product, think natural wood barbeque briquettes vs. those yucky petroleum-based commercial ‘charcoal). But, OK, 100 parts per million. OK. I guess I would rather a little sulfur than a little industrial yeast. The issue at hand, however, is way bigger than sulfites.
Demeter (which used to be held to a higher power) is giving credit to grapes grown prettily in the vineyard AND treated to every chemical trick in the trade once in the winery. With this new label, most of the public will be lulled into thinking wine with a biodynamically farmed label is ‘pure.’
The nefarious thing about the category of 'biodynamically farmed' is that the door is opened for wine “brands” wanting get in on the potential cach and $ of this category of wine.
God help us. Biodynamics, a growing philosophy that used to pay attention to a higher authority is getting the marketing makeover.
Can I blow the shofar and call upon the Jewish Mother’s of the world to unleash a guilt–giving lashing to these nefarious folk who want to strip dynamism from the bio?
I haven't been fond of the idea to list 'ingredients' on a wine bottle, but I am warming up to it. You see, to hell with biodynamics. Big deal. I do however, want to know if there's urea or petroleum or gelatin (get that mouthfeel right) defoaming agents, yeasts and enzymes in the wine....I want to know if the wine has been processed through micro ox or reverse osmosis. There is more to packaging a modern wine than sulfites, indeed. Now, Coturri doesn’t use a spot of sulfur (or yeast) and neither do their friends over at Frey. No matter what you think of their wines, they put their heart and soul into making wines as naturally as possible. After a long conversion with Tony Coturrii, I could hear him shaking his head in bewilderment on the phone as he said to me, “Why would you want to take care of the earth and then poison people when you give them your wine?”