Oregon is home to more Biodynamic® vineyards than any other state in the nation. The Willamette Valley’s King Estate has the distinction of being the largest Biodynamic vineyard in North America. Let’s take a closer look at what Biodynamic certification means and why it matters.
Biodynamic takes organic to a new, higher level. King Estate has been certified organic by Oregon Tilth, an internationally recognized certifying body, since 2002. But certification by Demeter USA as Biodynamic in 2016 represented a major step forward in King Estate’s commitment to sustainable agriculture. The vision of Demeter USA, the Biodynamic certifying body in this country, is nothing less than healing the planet through agriculture.
As King Estate CEO Ed King explains, “Achieving certification as Biodynamic holds us to the highest possible standard in sustainable agriculture.” By adhering to the program’s high standards, King Estate is committed to doing everything within our power to protect the planet for future generations.
Sustainable farming is nothing new for King Estate. Stewardship of the land is a core value that guided the King family when they founded King Estate in 1991. That value endures today.
Organic certification applies to all 1,033 acres of King Estate as well as to the winemaking process, the winery and the grapes.
What is Biodynamic?
The concept of Biodynamic farming was introduced in 1924 when German scientist Dr. Rudolf Steiner was called on to help address a decline in the agricultural health of farms. Steiner traveled from farm to farm, teaching farmers how to integrate the local ecosystem into their farming techniques. Steiner urged farmers to think of their farms not as factories but as living organisms: self-contained, self-sustaining and able to meet their needs out of the living dynamics of the farm itself. Today this is called regenerative agriculture.
What Makes Biodynamic Different?
Demeter-certified farms, including vineyards, strive to be entirely self-sustaining. Called “regenerative agriculture,” the Biodynamic approach encourages farmers to see their farms as self-contained, living organisms that can meet their needs out of the living dynamics of the farm itself.
How is Biodynamic Unique?
Like other Biodynamic farms, King Estate uses nine preparations that are a core element of the Demeter process. These preparations are made from herbs, minerals and animal manures that are used in sprays and compost that are applied in the vineyard to improve its overall health. Specifically these preparations help revitalize the soil, stimulate root growth, enhance the development of microorganisms and the formation of humus, and aid photosynthesis.
Are Biodynamic and Organic the Same?
Biodynamic farming prohibits synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, just like organic farming does. But here’s where they differ. Organic farming methods focus on eliminating pesticides, growth hormones and other additives. Biodynamic farming emphasizes creating a self-sufficient and healthy ecosystem.
Biodynamic Farming Embraces the Natural Ecosystem
Biodynamics treats the vineyard like the living organism it is. Biodynamic farming is a holistic approach to agriculture. Synthetic chemicals are prohibited. Certified farms generate their own soil nutrients, eliminate waste, protect the habitat and more. It’s a return to how agriculture worked for thousands of years. Farming biodynamically is King Estate’s promise to future generations: doing our part to respect, protect and steward the land, vineyard and winery.
Great wine starts with great grapes, and King Estate firmly believes that the best grapes come from vineyards that are farmed naturally and holistically. King Estate has made a commitment to sustainable agriculture practices that few wineries even attempt. More than organic, Biodynamic certification denotes a higher standard of environmental sustainability.
Biodynamic® Wine at King Estate
Next time you crack open a bottle of wine from King Estate, enjoy the pure taste that comes from grapes that are grown and handled holistically, with your well-being in mind. If you are intrigued and interested in trying our Biodynamic wine, visit King Estate and discover our wines for yourself.