Winemakers using biodynamic farming methods implement strategies guided by the phases of the moon. These strategies, as determined by the founding father of biodynamic farming, Rudolph Steiner, an Austrian philosopher and meta-physicist, theorised that the optimum time to adhere to specific actions in agriculture was accorded to the movement of the moon through certain constellations. These phases were divided into four categories known as ‘fruit, root, flower or leaf' days. As an example, a winemaker might remove old vines, plant new ones, or use a ‘tea’ of natural microbes to fertilise the vines ensuring good root development on leaf or root days, while fruit days are deemed the best time to harvest grapes.
But what of full moons? A full moon creates a higher gravitational force, something most of us are aware of when it comes to the full moon and ocean tides, so winemakers for centuries have been using the same theory of gravitational pull in order to assist the winemaking process.
Once wines are barrelled a process called ‘racking’ takes place, in which the wine is moved from barrel to barrel over time to ‘clear’ a wine of sediment. While some winemakers might use a filtration or fining system, biodynamic and traditional winemakers allow nature to assist the process by only racking during a full moon whereby the higher gravitational pull allows the sediment to settle more fully.
Bottling involves emptying the wine from barrels into large vats, and this is also done just before a full moon to further assist the clearing process. Similarly, a winemaker might mix the barrels during a new moon phase when there is less gravitational pull allowing the sediment to stay suspended in the wine and thus creating a more textural finish.
Giammarino Wines have been utilising these natural processes with the view of maintaining the quality of the soil, the vines, the fruit and the fermentation process while minimising interference as much as possible. The aim being to craft Single Estate wine that ultimately embodies the place of creation and all of its natural elements.