Biodynamic wine is a witches brew of magical thinking

B.C.’s Summerhill winery seeks biodynamic certification.

Summerhill Pyramid Winery CEO Ezra Cipes admits there are elements of biodynamic farming that sound more like witchcraft than modern agriculture, but he insists you can taste the results in a superior glass of wine.

In the biodynamic process, herbs such as camomile, nettles and dandelions may be stuffed into the skulls or organs of deer or domesticated livestock and buried in the earth to be recovered and used the following spring to add a dose of bacteria to compost, fertilizer or foliar spray. Often their application is synchronized with cosmological events such has the phases of the moon.

“What we are really doing is creating bacterial cultures,” said Ezra, a son of Summerhill owner and founder Stephen Cipes. “With the preparations, it’s a homeopathic dose that you can use to inoculate your compost or spray on your crops.”

Tip: @Blue_wode via Twitter

All of this sounds rather odd with notions of witchcraft, pagan ritual, homeopathy and astrology. The obvious question would be how do these superstitious activities work? I’m not buying the citing of one study. The soil may be better for other reasons, not magical mumbo jumbo. This article is chock full of mystical symbols. They go overboard.

It sounds like a perception issue. They simply think the wine tastes better because of the special effort. Certification is a cool gimmick for their product.

  2 comments for “Biodynamic wine is a witches brew of magical thinking

  1. George
    April 27, 2012 at 6:53 AM

    “But it’s natural!” So is crude oil, but we wouldn’t soak ourselves in it. (Or would we.)
    We cannot legislate against or stop stupidity, and there will always be the person who says, “Hmm, wonder what this button is for?” before pushing it.
    But we do owe it to the innocent unknowing to try to prevent needless death, such as from following the advice of a shaman of any kind, unproven by medical science.
    And, uh-oh, I did read the comment in the review by the writer who suggests “homeopathic dose” as a preventative. Again with the homeopathy?
    As I wrote, stupidity is hard to stop, and there is no inoculation (even a homeopathic one) for it.

  2. Annie
    April 30, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    I used to live near there. It’s a very competitive and small wine market. The pyramid and New Age thing are their “brand”. Flaky sells in BC just as it does in Oregon and California. This is clever marketing.

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