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My New Thing Is Biodynamic Wines

I love drinking a great wine especially one that does not give me a headache in the morning! Biodynamic wines can do just that and I like them very much.

What is “Biodynamic farming?”

Bio-dynamic farming takes organic farming to the next level. Essentially, biodynamics is a holistic view of agriculture. For thousands of years, farmers work their land in accordance with the four seasons, moon cycles, and natural order of nature. It is the oldest anti-chemical agricultural movement that predates the creation of organic farming. This occurs primarily in the vineyard before the wine making process even happens. The results are usually healthy, delicious, and highly aromatic grapes are produced in complete harmony with nature.

The Biodynamic approach to grape-growing sees the vineyard as an ecological whole: the rows of grapevines, soil, and the other flora in the area become part of a whole package growing together interdependently. In biodynamic farming, the relationship between soil, plants, animals and astrological elements is emphasized. For instance, crops are often planted, pruned and harvested according to lunar cycles. Unlike with certified organic products, there are no USDA regulations regarding biodynamic farming. Currently, for a wine to be labeled “biodynamic,” it has to meet the stringent standards of the internationally recognized certifying body, Demeter Association.

What are sulfites? Are they harmful?

Sulfites are preservatives and antioxidants. While they occur naturally in certain foods especially fruits, they can be used as additives in foods to preserve their natural colors and prevent unwanted bacteria from growing. Therefore, sulfites are preservatives made from diluted mined sulfur that prevent oxidation and bacterial spoilage. Sulfites are an ingredient that can occur in wine naturally, and mined sulfites have been used in viticulture for centuries. Unless you are allergic, sulfites are not bad at all. Sulfite allergy sufferers should look for wines bearing the USDA organic logo.

The sulfite question is a sticky one. The Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association has debated whether to allow the addition of sulfites in biodynamic wines. For a wine to be labeled organic, it cannot contain added sulfites. If you have ever gotten a reaction after eating dried fruit, which contains Sulphur as a preservative, you may be among those who are sensitive to it in varying degrees, from intolerance to allergic reactions. Headaches have not been shown to be a common allergic reaction to sulfites in wine. Headaches are most likely due to other chemicals found in conventional wines. Sulfur dioxide occurs naturally as a by-product of the fermentation process. Sulfites in wine have been added for hundreds of years as a preservative. We encourage you to do more research on Sulfur and its derivatives to see if you need to avoid consuming them.

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