Introduction to Biodynamic Viticulture is for anyone with a basic knowledge of viticulture who would like to learn more about it from the perspective of biodynamics.
The course is online 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.
The course follows a bi-weekly schedule. There's a 2-hour zoom every other Tuesday from 7-9pm (UK time) on the following dates:
- 23 January 2024
- 6 February 2024
- 20 February 2024
- 5 March 2024
- 19 March 2024
These webinars will be recorded so you are able to access them afterwards at your convenience if you're not able to join live.
Monty Waldin, biodynamic wine writer, wine critic and wine grower
Nick Wenman and Alex Valsecchi of Albury Vineyard, Surrey
Ben Walgate of Tillingham Vineyard, East Sussex
Doug Wregg, Director of Les Caves de Pyrene
Birgit Braunstein, owner Braunstein wine estate, Burgenland, Austria
Michael Schmelzer, owner Monte Bernardi wine estate, Chianti, Italy
Georg Meissner, viticulture teacher (Geisenheim) and winemaker (Roussillon, France)
John and Kym Kalleske from the Kalleske estate, Barossa Valley, Australia
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?
The course will begin late-January 2024, with the first bi-weekly seminar on Tuesday 23 January 7-8pm (UK time). As these Zoom webinars will be recorded, you will be able to access them afterwards at you convenience.
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: [email protected]