As part of our store-wide No Noise initiative, Selfridges is enjoying the pleasures of good honest food and drink with the Food for Thought campaign. With this is mind, our Head Sommelier Dawn Davies introduces the growing trend for organic and biodynamic wines and shares her pick of the best examples.
Wine has always been seen as a fairly natural product but over the years, due to its commercialisation, more and more chemical products are being used in the vineyards to control pests, disease and weeds. This has caused damage to the land, resulting in many people turning to sustainable, organic and biodynamic farming.
I've noticed that not only have more people been requesting organic wines but that I have unconsciously been picking wines grown in this manner for the Wine Shop. For many, buying organic is a decision linked to a desire to be more environmentally friendly but for me, there is also a real step up in quality and sense of place in these wines.
Biodynamics works with all of the organic principles but takes it one step further. Practitioners use preparations on the vines, for example stags bladders filled with yarrow flowers that are buried in the ground over winter then made into a spray for the vines in spring. They also believe that the cosmos influences the vine and farm according to the waxing and waning of the moon. Although all this may seem a bit like witchcraft, there are some very serious winemakers working in this manner including Domaine Leflaive, Vanya Cullen and Pontet Canet.
For me the proof is in the pudding and many of these wines do show balance, elegance and purity. Is this due to the ‘science’ of Biodynamics or down to the fact that those working biodynamically and organically are much closer to the vineyards? After all, we all know that great wines cannot be made with bad grapes.
- Dawn Davies, Head Sommelier at Selfridges
DAWN'S TOP ORGANIC AND BIODYNAMIC WINES