So it's been awhile since I've posted and I apologize for the lapse.
No good reason. Just fell into that newbie blogger blackhole and kept all my many "Drink, Pray, Make Wine" experiences to myself. I was lazy.
But it has been an exciting time. I now understand the PRAY part of my blog's title. I didn't really before- beside a play on the infamous book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Now I get what all the hub-bub is with the newest extreme form of organic viticulture and how to pray to make good wine!
The Spiritual Practice of Winemaking...It's Biodynamic!
My winemaker friend, Stephen Ryan- who makes wine for the Biodynamic centric group Magnanimus Wine Group took me on an adventure to do the #500 Biodynamic Preparation with a group up at Paul Dolan Vineyards on the full "beaver" moon of November. This the famous prep that the cynics like to poke fun of with the cow horns stuffed with cow manure. But it's no Bull. Really. For one, you gotta use female cow horns and manure. No bull steers. Why it has to do with the relationship between the cow and the moon. You know all cliches are true and so this is no different. No Bull-the cow did jump over the moom. Why? Because Rudolph Steiner said that things that go together should be together. It's all in enchancing these like gestures: the female energy of the moon, the female energy/gesture of the cow with horns reaching toward the cosmos. So the full moon's energy helps increase the potency of the manure compost created. There's lots of information to be learned from people like Matis Baker - who works with the Rudolph Steiner College of Biodynamics in Fair Oaks, CA who gave us his interpretations and helped us do the prep. Matis brought home the concept of everything can be connected if you just change your perspective with a little excercise. He had us cut out a triangle of our choosing out of a single piece of paper. He then drew a triangle on the poster board. We then had to try and "fit" our empty space triangle into his triangle. The weird thing, is at first it seemed impossible until you turned and squinted just right...wahla...a match!
Fun with Triangles and Perspective
PRAYERS TO THE POOP
But it's the simle act of doing it yourself that brings the "magic." It's like praying or doing yoga in the vineyard. You connect with your vineyard creatures, picking up fresh manure (freshies don't smell at all) then you add potency to the manure by working it into a smooth fudge to pack into the horns. It was like kneading dough with a shovel. After massaging the shit on a piece of plywood for an hour with another shoveler, I did, I felt the power. The power of intention and awareness. This intention of making a stab at connecting the earthly and cosmic elements is how you pray for good grapes, and make good wine. Watch the video for more information and I will report back on how this batch of #500 cow horn silica came out when it's pulled out from the pit later this spring. Apparently only a few grams of this is required per acre and over time the brix improves and the fungal problems diminish.
For more information, you can try and watch the video from a piece of the lecture by Matis Baker. Mr. Baker is an interpreter of Biodynamics and this video is purely for informational purposes. If you are looking for help with your Biodynamic viticulture practices I believe Mr. Baker is available for consulting. Lecture Video