Biodynamic viticulture: the basics

Sample Story
26th April 2016
The spray preparations
26th April 2016

In viticulture, two separate processes are involved, growing the grapes, and making the wine.

Grapes: The same rules of growing biodynamic grapes are followed as for growing organic grapes. A biodynamic wine-grower must also treat the vines and the soil with biodynamically produced compost and use the biodynamic field sprays.

Wine: To make biodynamic wine, the grapes must be fermented into wine according to Demeter’s (biodynamic) processing standards. These are similar to, but stricter than those for organic, and focus on encouraging winemakers to make their wines as naturally as possible and with minimal environmental impact (water and energy use etc).

For example, less added sugar and fewer additives are permitted; and only natural yeasts are allowed to ferment the wine.

Demeter certified vineyards; organic vineyards; and Demeter or organic certified wine!

A vineyard that is certified Demeter (biodynamic) will also automatically be a certified organic vineyard. But although the grapes will be certified biodynamic, the wines produced from Demeter vineyards may be certified biodynamic or organic, depending on whether they have been produced to Demeter or to organic processing standards.

UK biodynamic vineyards

In the UK, we are fortunate enough to have a growing number of Demeter biodynamic certified vineyards, including well known award winning vineyards; Albury in Surrey, Sedlescombe in East Sussex, and Ancre Hill Estates in Monmouthshire.
Albury vineyards
Ancre Hill Estates

Many are open to visitors, hold regular events, and in some cases have online shops.

Click here to buy books on biodynamic wine.


Biodynamic Wine by biodynamic and organic wine expert and consultant Monty Waldin.

The organic wine journal, useful for keeping abreast of organic, natural and biodynamic wines.