Biodynamics is an ultra-organic way of farming stemming from the two words; biological and dynamic. The biological aspect is practiced throughout organic farming and includes; composting, cover cropping, green manuring, cultivation, companion planting and integration of animals throughout the farm. The dynamic effects are extremely important, maybe even more-so than the biological. They include planning and planting by a calendar (i.e. near and far stars), Biodynamic composting, peppering and radionics, along with homeopathy. Therefore, both the biological & the dynamic effects are practiced and implemented.
In Biodynamics the farm is considered a living organism — having its own individuality and soul. As such the farm is believed to be sick if it imports any fertilizer from the outside; therefore being self sufficient is an important part of Biodynamic farming. Soil is considered to be the foundation of agriculture, therefore enriching the soil is an important task. A farmer is comparable to the conductor of an orchestra — bringing all the individual forces and energies into harmony by playing the right notes at the right time.
We distribute our own compost, inoculated with the Biodynamic preparations and distribute it underneath the vines as needed. We have also eliminated the use of minerals which need to be mined from the earth. Instead, we grow a variety of herbs and flowers that have been used medicinally for thousands of years (i.e. Chamomile, Dandelion, Yarrow, Valerian, Horsetail, Stinging Nettle, etc.). We make teas with them to be sprayed either on the foliage (on leaf days) or injected through the irrigation line to the root system (on root days). We apply these teas in homeopathic amounts in order to maintain the vitality and healthy immune system of the plants. Plants do not need to be shocked with penicillin like treatments if they are “brought up” with healthy immunities to pests and diseases.
In the winery, we allow the native yeast found on the grape skins to naturally initiate primary fermentation. No commercial yeast or enzyme use is allowed and we do not adjust acidity or add sugar. The secondary or malolactic fermentation also occurs on its own without any additives.
The McMinnville American Viticultural Area is a sub-appellation of the Willamette Valley, nestled in the Coast Range foothills of Yamhill County that was created in 2005 after a successful petition that began in 2002. The soils found in the McMinnville AVA are primarily made up of both sedimentary and volcanic soils such as loams and silts with an underlying base of basalt. Beneath an average of 20-40 inches of clay and soil, lies hard stone mixed with basalt pebbles and compressed sediment that gives off minerality. It’s this unique soil diversity and the location at the mouth of the Van Duzer corridor that gives the McMinnville Pinot Noirs their dark fruit flavors and spicy earth tones, while allowing whites like Pinot Gris, Blanc and Riesling to attain a bright fruit-forwardness and vibrant acidity.