Producers in every wine region around the world will tell you that they work with grapes that are farmed in environmentally safe ways. There are many wines today that are produced from organically grown grapes, or are the byproducts of sustainable agriculture. The exact definitions of these terms vary from country to country, and can be confusing. But it’s the message of respect for the earth that is promoted, and vintners hope that consumers will support that ideology and purchase products made in this fashion.
But there is one philosophy of farming that goes beyond simple organics, and that is biodynamic agriculture. This approach entails more than not using chemicals in the vineyards (which is what much of organic farming is about), but is instead a highly complex and specialized manner of agriculture that encompasses several factors, ranging from the use of manure in the vineyards to bottling the wine in the cellar during a full moon.
It’s being practiced in more wine regions today, and while only about 1.5% of the vineyards in Champagne are farmed biodynamically, this method is slowly starting to take hold here, a region that due to cool weather and ample rainfall, is thought of as a difficult place for this type of farming.
(…) While biodynamics may never be an overwhelming choice for most growers in Champagne, the work being done by Leclerc-Briant and Louis Roederer (as well as several other producers such as Fleury, Larmandier-Bernier and Eric Rodez to some extent), is evidence of the quality and marvelous complexity and charm that biodynamic farming can bring to a Champagne.