Your Guide to Organic, Biodynamic and Natural Wine



BIODYNAMIC GRAPE GROWING & WINEMAKING SHORTCOURSE

Date: March 23, 2015
Time: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm
Location: Maysara Winery in McMinnville, Oregon
Address: 15765 Southwest Muddy Valley Rd, McMinnville, OR 97128
Price: General – $60 | Students – $30
Tickets: http://biodynamicshortcourse.brownpapertickets.com/

Sponsored by Demeter USA and Maysara Winery, the full day session offers a comprehensive look at Biodynamic® farming and winemaking from local practitioners and winemakers along with an open forum for questions. The event will be held at Maysara Winery in McMinnville, Oregon from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm

Join committed practitioners and educators for a full day seminar and tasting created especially for those in the wine community interested in learning more about Biodynamic farming and winemaking. Practical information on the certification process will be shared, and myths and misinformation will be clarified. Attendees will learn how this high level sustainable farming practice contributes to grape and wine quality.

The Program:

The Short Course begins with a history of Biodynamic agriculture, and proceeds through a series of focused conversations among veteran vintners and viticulture experts on topics of fundamental importance for American wine: What defines a BD farm in concept? What practices make up a BD winegrowing system? What effect does it have on grape vines and wine? Is there any science to back it up? What are the similarities and differences between NOP organic and Demeter Biodynamic? What do BD winemakers have to say? The speaker list includes many Oregon based Biodynamic farmers and vintners.

Throughout the day, there will be an open conversation to include attendee questions and comments.

A delicious lunch will be served mid-way through the program, and at day’s end all guests will be invited to try some of the wines created and shared by the Short Course speakers.

The Logistics:

BD Winegrowing Short Course will take place on Monday March 23 from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm at the beautiful Maysara Winery located at 15765 Muddy Valley Road in McMinnville, OR. Tickets can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets at: http://biodynamicshortcourse.brownpapertickets.com for $60 which includes lunch. There is a student rate of $30. For more information contact Barbara Gross at 503-649-0027 or bgross@coopermountainwine.com.

About Maysara Winery

In 1997, Moe and Flora Momtazi purchased an abandoned wheat farm in the foothills southwest of McMinnville, Oregon. The plan was to grow pinot noir grapes that reflect the old world way of farming holistically and producing un-manipulated wines. Maysara winery and Momtazi vineyard are dedicated to create an ecosystem that preserves the land as a whole without any external or unnatural additions.

Today, Momtazi estate consists of 532 total acres with 250 acres planted of pinot noir, pinot gris, pinot blanc, muscat and riesling vines. Maysara Winery has been certified Biodynamic since 2007 and Momtazi vineyard since 2005. It is the largest certified Biodynamic vineyard in Oregon, and the second largest in the USA.

About Demeter USA

Demeter USA is a non-profit American chapter of Demeter International, the world’s only certifier of Biodynamic® farms and products. Biodynamic agriculture goes beyond organic, envisioning the farm as a self-contained and self-sustaining organism. In an effort to keep the farm, the farmer, the consumer, and the earth healthy, farmers avoid chemical pesticides and fertilizers, utilize compost and cover crops, and set aside a minimum of 10% of their total acreage for biodiversity. The entire farm, versus a particular crop, must be certified, and farms are inspected annually. In order for a product to bear the Demeter logo it must be made with certified Biodynamic ingredients and meet strict processing standards to ensure the purest possible product.


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Jenny & François Selections is pleased to announce the 11th annual Natural Winemakers’ Week, February 26th – March 3rd, 2015. Natural, Organic and Biodynamic Winemakers from France, Italy, Spain and the USA are coming to NYC for a week of wine dinners, classes and free tastings.

Winemakers Coming:

Dufaitre (Beaujolais), Clos Siguier (Cahors), Oudin (Chablis), Chemins de Bassac (Languedoc), Patience (Languedoc), Grange Tiphaine (Loire), Mortier (Loire), Rimbert (Loire), Plageoles (South West), Quantico (Sicily), Ca’ dei Zago (Veneto), Azimut (Penedes), Flos de Pinoso (Valencia), Dirty and Rowdy (California), Vinca Minor (California), Montebruno (Oregon)

For an updated listing of dinners and tastings go to www.jennyandfrancois.com/nww15.


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The Sonoma State University Wine Business Institute released a new annual study they’ve started conducting about American wine consumption. Here are their findings for 2014 as relates to organic wine:

Though the Organic Trade Association reports that 41% of American consumers are now buying organic food, this number is not as high with organic beverages. That could explain why only 16% of this sample said they look for organic wine as part of their decision-making process. Listing “sustainable” on the label only was important to 10% and “biodynamic” to 6%. Other research indicates that many Americans assume that most wine is organic anyway and therefore don’t look for these cues, and some consumers confuse the term “biodynamic” with “genetically modified,” which can be a deterrent to purchase.

We’re emailing for the full report, but some quick thoughts until then. It’s not surprising that more people look for organic food than wine. For many, the simple word combination of “organic” and “wine” still conjures up the idea of a wine with something missing, like diet soda. It’s the first year of the study so we’ll see how that 16% figure changes over time.

The more interesting thing, of course, is the claim that “many Americans assume that most wine is organic anyway.” We’ll be delving into that once we get the full study. The authors of the report are professors Dr. Liz Thach, MW, Dr. Janeen Olsen and Dr. Tom Aktin.


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From The Press Democrat:

Volker Eisele, the outspoken architect of a landmark farmland protection policy in Napa County that became widely emulated as a model for staunching unwanted development, died Friday at his ranch home near St. Helena from complications related to a stroke. He was 77.

The German-born Eisele was an organic wine grape grower before the concept was popular. As a community activist and leader in the agricultural industry he fearlessly took on established orthodoxy, often in blunt style. He will be remembered most for engineering Measure J, a controversial land use policy that was enacted by voters in 1990 over heavy opposition from pro-development forces.


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On Forbes, Organic Wine Journal Editor Adam Morganstern names 5 Biodynamic champagnes you can enjoy all year long. See the list here.


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London’s largest artisan wine fair is returning to the Old Truman Brewery (Spitalfields) on 17 & 18 May 2015. All wines showcased are organic or biodynamic with low intervention in the cellar, and many are totally natural – pure fermented grape juice.

Be sure to save the date so you can pop along and sample tasty wonders alongside a delicious range of other artisan food and drinks. Ticket sales and trade registrations will open at the end of January 2015.


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Poster Wine The Green Revolution

Wine The Green Revolution, a documentary on biodynamic winemaking, can now be viewed in its entirety online. The cost is $3.99 and can be watched here.


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From the LA Times: Drought revives ‘forgotten art’ at wineries: Farming without irrigation

“It’s like a forgotten art,” said Frank Leeds, head of vineyard operations for Frog’s Leap Winery in Rutherford, a leading dry farm and organic wine producer in Napa Valley. “There’s very few guys that dry farm and less guys that actively dry farm. It’s easier, I’m sure, to turn on the tap.”


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