Last week in our travels through California we visited Deloach Vineyards in Sonoma County. The General Manager, Lisa Heisinger was proud to tell us that Deloach was certified organic in 2008 and was now practicing biodynamic viticulture. Of course the question soon arose what was the difference between sustainable, organic and biodynamic viticulture. Here is how she described the differences.
Sustainable Viticulture: rooted by the concept of balance, sustainable viticulture aims to boost environmental quality, strengthen the base of vineyard-dependent resources, enhance grape quality, maintain economic viability, and ensure life quality within the viticulture sector and society in general.
Organic Viticulture: with similar fundamentals as sustainable viticulture with respect to economic viability, and social equity, organic viticulture takes conservation one step further by eliminating the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and genetically modified organisms.
Biodynamic Viticulture: expanding on the principles encompassed by organic viticulture, biodynamic viticulture adds a holistic element to grape production, elevating the consciousness of its practitioners, and resulting in even greater increases in both vineyard health and grape quality. By treating a vineyard as a single, self-regulating organism governed by diverse ecological relationships at play within, and recognizing the influences of celestial movements on terrestrial life, biodynamic viticulture results in grapes that express the truest sense of terroir.
Of course I must also point out that the wines were as impressive as Lisa Heisinger’s detailed explanation of the viticulture at Deloach.
Paul Quaglini, Wine Supervisor, SE Florida