Monday was a root day, but that didn't make a difference, A Day of Biodynamics was underway at the 320 acre Montinore estate in Oregon.
Montinore in Oregon used to make pretty much, plonk. But Rudy Marchesi, who was managing the property believed in it. When he had the chance to buy the estate in 2005, he pounced and converted the conventionally farmed (dry farmed) 320 acres to Biodynamics. Not only that, but he hired the most hard core and determined believer in this country, Philippe Armenier to guide him.
Marchesi, an affable man, articulate survived making wine in New Jersey for God's sake. He's training for his MW, and he has had a long time interest in Biodynamics. He makes some of the best cheese I ever had from his neighbors cows (he should go pro. this fromage was the bomb) and he has three noisy dynamizers on premise as well as several hundred cows horns for his 500.
One of the best things I learned about the horns in this 'Day of Biodynamics" was that they can be used 6-7 times before petering out. I also learned that they only use copper in the vineyard one time a year. And I was able to relive the nauseating smell of a pigs stomach waiting to be turned into rennet, when picking up and smelling a worm of pigs intestines (destined for holding chamomile flowers).
I am often called on to defend Biodynamics, and the form of farming is often under attack. Why? I'm not sure. I'm not sure why the attack or why me. But let me tell you this I don't need science to prove anything, if bioD is your choice, good luck to you. If it makes great wine, well good luck for us. Whatever Rudy is doing seems to be working and the wines and the land speak to transformation.
Rudy should win an award. Give the man something. A medal of honor, I should say. Why? He is determined to give America affordable wine that is biodynamic and natural enough--native yeast, no enzyme or hocus pocus, and he's using more 500-600 liter barrels than barriques, and barely a new one in sight. His Pinot Gris is delicious, almost dry, gentle with the ginger, nice zip, and it costs $12. The super cuvée is the Cataclysm pinot noir, which had kirsch, piercing nose and yet not cloying ( I know. Faint praise but it was good!) @ $35 with an $18 pinot thrown in for the ride.
I left that night. The full moon rose over Mt. Hood. Root Day was over.
Damn, some of the best domestic cheese I ever had.