This course introduces the main theories and principles of Biodynamic Viticulture and how they can be applied in practice, as well as the standards and requirements to become certified as a biodynamic vineyard.
It is for anyone with a basic knowledge of viticulture - whether practically, theoretically, or both - and who would like to learn more about it from the perspective of biodynamics.
The course is online only and includes a series of video seminars, an extensive resource library for additional personal study, and interviews with experts in the world of biodynamic winegrowing from around the globe.
The global & cultural context of Biodynamic Viticulture
This theme looks at the numbers and spread of biodynamic vineyards around the world, including trends in the number of certified vineyards and the historical context of growing vines biodynamically. It considers biodynamic winegrowing in the context of organic certification and the increasing interest in sustainability and natural wine.
Motivations and inspiration for biodynamic winegrowers
This theme explores the reasons behind why people grow wine biodynamically. Every grower has their own motivations and rationale for doing so – whether practical, economic, ethical, historical, intuitive or spiritual. These are considered through interviews, stories, videos, and articles, with the aim of representing the breadth and diversity of Biodynamic Viticulture today.
Principles and Practice of Biodynamic Viticulture
This theme follows on from the Introduction to Biodynamics course and explains how the key theories and principles are translated into a viticultural context. This begins with the principle of the Farm as a Living Organism as related to a vineyard and how this connects directly with the concept of terroir and bioterroir in winegrowing; it then explores how a salutogenic approach informs the use of the biodynamic preparations and other natural treatment methods in supporting the health and well-being of all life on the vineyard. The influence of the lunar cycles and natural rhythms of life are also considered within this context.
Demeter and the Global Certification Standards
This theme introduces Demeter International, the Demeter trademark and the international standards by which all biodynamic winegrowers are certified. It explains the key requirements for a vineyard to be certified as biodynamic, with guidance on how to begin the process of certification.
Delivered over five sessions, with one or two weeks between sessions to allow for further reading and exploration of the content covered
Live digital seminar covering a specific theme included in each session
Additional resources will be made available for students to explore each theme in more depth between sessions, including articles, research papers, chapters from books, videos, podcasts, etc.
Simple exercises to encourage students to apply the learning to their own context and situation
Videos, recorded interviews and case studies from the UK and around the world will allow students to learn from a diverse range of biodynamic winegrowers
Interviews with other experts connected with biodynamic winegrowing (journalists, authors, importers, retailers, etc.) will help place Biodynamic Viticulture in a wider cultural and economic context
When is the course starting?
We have yet to confirm the exact start date of the course but it will be some time in winter 2021. It is likely the course will start in November some time with a break over the holiday period before continuing in January 2022. We will let everyone pre-registered know the start date well in advance and if the dates do not work for you for some reason you can request a refund.
What technology do I need to fully participate in the course?
The course is best accessed through a computer or tablet. You also need a reliable internet connection, especially if you want to join the Zoom webinars live rather than watching the recordings. You can use a smartphone though some PDF material may be harder to read.
How much time does the course take?
You should be able to work through the core curriculum in a few hours a session in addition to the live seminars which will be 1-2 hours. However, if you choose, it may take more time to explore the additional resources available.
What support is available?
Course instructors can answer questions during the webinars, in the group discussions or the course community. The online learning coordinator, Page, is also available to answer any technical problems you may have.
I have another question, who can I ask?
If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to email our Online Learning Coordinator, Page: firstname.lastname@example.org