Just when we understand the meaning of “sustainable,” “organic” and other grape-growing terms, the world of wine is adding another. It is “biodynamics,” a method of grape growing based on principles the Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner set in the 1920s. It is, in a way, looking back for its future.
Like organic methods, biodynamics bans the use of pesticides and chemicals. Unlike organic, biodynamics adds a bit of spirituality. For a wine to be biodynamic, vintners must perform all vineyard and cellar work according to phases of the moon, stars and sun. They must use natural fertilizer in the form of dried cow dung stuffed into cow horns and buried in the vineyard at the time of the equinox. They must follow with eight other biodynamic vineyard preparations including ground quartz stuffed in cow horns and buried in the vineyards in the summer; and yarrow flowers buried in a stag’s bladder, hung in the sun and buried over winter, after which the contents are put into compost.
The purpose, proponents of biodynamics say, is to make wines that are clean and pure and express their soil, their vintage and nature.
Do they? Is a biodynamically produced wine automatically a better wine? Not necessarily and not always, judging from some recent tastings. I tasted biodynamic wines at an Italian winery that were indeed clean, but they were also neutral to the point of blandness. On the other hand, I tasted Coyam, a biodynamic red wine made by Emiliana in Chile, a blend of Bordeaux- and Côtes du Rhône-style grapes. It is ink-dark, intensely flavored with a rich aroma dominated by dark fruits and vanilla, exquisitely balanced, full-bodied, complex and velvety. Whether due to its biodynamic birth or simply great winemaking, it is a lovely, satisfying wine.
In Austria, I tasted the biodynamic wines of Meinklang Winery and they, too, are winners. Among them, the winery’s Blaufrankisch is deep-shaded, rich with a heady aroma of cherries and wild herbs. Add to these other notable wine properties that have gone biodynamic, such as Maison Joseph Drouhin, Domaine Leroy and Domaine Leflaive in Burgundy; Zind-Humbrecht of Alsace; Raymond and Benzinger of California; and a current estimate of well over 500 other biodynamic wineries. Fad, or the future?
Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts invites travelers to celebrate the holidays at any of its properties in Riviera Maya, Mexico. There is no time like the present for you to experience a stay at one of these luxury resorts.
When American travelers make plans to visit Portugal, Lisbon is usually their first stop.
After a two-year hiatus from in-person sporting and outdoor recreation events, the seaside, car-free town of Las Catalinas in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, recently announced the return of the annual Tri Las Catalinas, an off-road, multisport triathlon, Feb. 15–18.
From 24-Hour Butler Service to a Sky Pool: Boutique Luxury Awaits at Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences in Los Cabos
Set on a seaside bluff overlooking Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas, Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences is a Baja paradise specializing in serene vistas and impeccable hospitality, offering a Pacific coast lifestyle with authentic Mexican touches. Guests can now earn a fourth night free at the stunning resort, plus a $100 resort credit, when booking through March 20, for travel through June 15.
Plan a célébration spéciale this holiday season with a stay at a historic French chateau in the Loire Valley. If pipers piping and dancers dancing are part of your dream holiday experience, set your compass for Château de Chambord, where 100 twinkling Christmas trees set a festive tone for Renaissance music and dancing, storytelling, performances, workshops, themed activities and more. Guests can sip mulled wine and nibble on sweet indulgences, or peruse the shops for authentic, artisanal Chambord products crafted from the estate’s own natural resources.
For the 12th consecutive year, Global Traveler recognizes the best of the best in the industry, naming 2022’s Airline of the Year and Hotel of the Year.
Experience the beauty of Alaska and save 60 percent off cruise fares on your second and fourth guests. Plus, drinks, WiFi and tips are all included.
What a year 2022 has been for travel! It’s not an understatement to say travel rebounded and surged following the pandemic, and airlines, hotels, travel providers and more are ready and waiting to serve the masses returning to the beautiful art of traveling. As such, we celebrate and award those who do it best as we announce the 2022 winners of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards, our 19th year honoring the best of the best in the world of travel. Our countdown to year No. 20 begins now.