EFFECTS OF BIODYNAMIC VINEYARD MANAGEMENT ON GRAPE RIPENING MECHANISMS
Biodynamic agriculture, founded in 1924 by Rudolph Steiner, is a form of organic agriculture. Through a holistic approach, biodynamic agriculture seeks to preserve the diversity of agriculture and the existing interactions between the mineral world and the different components of the organic world. Biodynamic grape production involves the use of composts, herbal teas and mineral preparations such as 500, 501 and CBMT.
Several scientific studies have provided evidence on the effects of biodynamic farming on the soil, the plant and the wine. Numerous empirical opinions of wine growers support the existence of differences brought by such a management.
The objective of our study is to build a scientific experiment to validate this knowledge and opinion by providing understanding of the biological behavior of the plant and the grape, and, finally, of the differences observed on the wine.
Our trial aims at evaluating the effects of a biodynamic management on the mechanisms of grape ripening. It is conducted on 8 parcels of the Lafite Rothschild vineyard, 4 of which have been receiving biodynamic preparations since 2017 and 4 not.
The parameters of technological ( sugars, TA, malic acid, tartaric acid, pH), phenolic (glories method), and textural maturity (Penetrometry, Aw) of the berries from veraison onwards were monitored in the 8 plots. The content of polysaccharides and pectin was analyzed during the ripening period on the grape skins. Once harvested, the berries were tasted by a trained panel.
Depending on the parameters, differences were observed and seemed to confirm the empirical vision of biodynamic practitioners.
Further analyses will have to be carried out to confirm these observations and evaluate the mechanisms involved.
Issue: OENO Macrowine 2023
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Biodynamics, viticulture, grapes, maturity