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?
Brewing long and deep at its center before radiating out to the rest of Europe, Vienna boasts an illustrious history and lasting intellectual impact. The Austrian capital dates back to Celtic and Romen rule, the latter inhabitants using the center city as a military hub among many other employments.
Whether taking a COVID-19 test before boarding a flight or looking up different travel restrictions before planning your trip, travel has looked a little bit different this past year. With all the extra steps for traveling, American Airlines is committed to finding ways to provide ease and more flexibility and choices for passengers when traveling.
Even in “normal” times, folks gravitate to wellness resorts to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle, destress and be nurtured. In this COVID-19-era state of elevated anxiety, people seek even more natural beauty and caring hospitality, healthy food, fitness activities and beauty and body treatments. Canyon Ranch Lenox also provides an extensive staff of experts offering a multitude of health, wellness and spiritual well-being modalities that alleviate personal issues.
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
The lights of the aurora borealis appear frequently in the Fairbanks region of Alaska, with a growing number of Aurora Trackers in the area. A new video from Explore Fairbanks features five Fairbanks Aurora Trackers sharing their thoughts and photography on the northern lights.
Remote workers looking for an upgrade from their home offices might want to consider Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ Workcation offer. Those booking an extended stay of 10-plus nights are eligible for discounts of up to 15 percent off best available rates; those booking 20-plus nights enjoy up to 25 percent off. The offer is available at Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ diverse portfolio of properties.