Exploring Biodynamic Wine – A Year Of Talks With Demeter – A Summary From Saverio Petrilli
I’ve opined recently whether certification is an issue for biodynamic growers in Italy. I made this comment having encountered several growers who employ biodynamic practices in their vineyards, but don’t wish to formalise their work by achieving certification through the official body Demeter.
I don’t pretend to know the inner workings of Demeter, nor am I familiar with the politics of biodynamic certification. As my own personal biodynamic conversion is still in its infancy, I also haven’t fully explored the variances in different biodynamic methodologies. Hence, I present the information below without comment on my behalf.
I first met Saverio Petrilli, oenologist and viticulturist at Tenuta di Valgiano (see edit note 2 below), in London at RAW 2012. I then visited him in Tenuta di Valgiano in April this year and found that his approach to viticulture really struck a chord with me. I found Saverio’s general outlook on biodynamics and his focus on ’cause and effect’, particularly in relation to vine and soil quality, to be extremely insightful. It’s fair to say to say that after these, admittedly brief, encounters, I hold Saverio’s opinions on such matters, in high regard.
Saverio follows the biodynamic methodologies espoused by Alex Podolinksy and is very active in the biodynamic wine community in Italy. Earlier this month, he sent me on details of the activities of a group who have been striving to address the problem of certification related both to the quality guarantee for consumers and the costs incurred by producers.
I found this summary very interesting indeed and wanted to share it in anticipation that others will too.
Note: Saverio didn’t ask me to upload these summaries to my blog, but did give me permission to do so when I asked.
Edit Note 2: Tenuta di Valgiano is a certified biodynamic estate in the Colline Lucchesi DOC in Tuscany.