Quivira Winery – A Study on Biodynamic Farming Part 2May 9th, 2011 - Planted by Ian Hall
Who is doing what? And how do you get Biodynamic status?
The Biodynamic practices to Quivira’s Estate gardens is overseen by the very capable Andrew Beedy, who’s entire life has been surrounded by biodynamic farming.
From his birth place in rural Pennsylvania on a biodynamic dairy farm to being raised in Kent in the UK on a large estate where he ended up working on an organic farm during his youth. Beedy has been a life long study of biodynamic practices. And the results show in the over flowing recycled redwood raised beds of the estate garden…all 120 of them!
In the vineyard the job falls on Ned Horton, who’s official title is ‘Assistant Winegrower’. I love that! Instead of the normal title of vineyard manager…this title shows the true nature of how grapes are now viewed in the vineyard. In this philosophy the wine making process starts as soon as those first green leaves start to push from dormant vines each March, which Ned diligently oversees, as he works closely with ‘Head Winegrower’ (not winemaker!) Hugh Chappelle until the ripe fruits make their way into the winery at harvest.
So can anyone just call themselves Biodynamic? Like I, for example, as a market farmer can call myself sustainable, as that is not an official designation… but claiming organic status no matter how green my practices are would land me in hot water as this is a certified title that I have not yet achieved. So how do you know if a vineyard or farm you are getting your produce or wine from is a Biodynamic facility? Luckily Biodynamic status is a true certification that is governed by Demeter International Organization (there is a specific US branch). Participating farms and wineries must display this certification. Although this certification is probably not going to be applied to your property anytime soon… would you want to apply some of these practices? What could you be doing in your gardens and landscape that could become a little more Biodynamic? Imagine getting to the point where your garden is non-dependent on chemicals to do the job that nature is very willing to!
So if you get to wine country anytime soon be sure that you make a concerted effort to head a little north on West Dry Creek Road and see why I made the drive all the way from Napa to take in this special place.
The best way to tour these gardens, of course, is with wine in hand from the gorgeous tasting room. You can taste the biodynamics in effect as the lush, rich Rhone style wines and Zinfandels were as balanced as the ecosystem at the winery, and certainly my favorites on the tasting menu! So set your calender now and see some of the most beautiful grounds in wine country and learn more about Biodynamics in action!