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.

Course Content

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.

2023 course will start mid-January

The course follows a bi-weekly schedule. There's a 2-hour zoom every other Tuesday on the following dates:

  • 24 January 2023
  • 7 February 2023
  • 21 February 2023
  • 7 March 2023
  • 21 March 2023 (finishing on the Spring Equinox!)

These  webinars will be recorded so you are able to access them afterwards at your convenience if you're not able to join live. 

Register Now

Spaces are limited to ensure a high quality of instruction for all who participate.

Instructor

Robin Snowdon

Robin is co-owner, vineyard manager and winemaker for Limeburn Hill Vineyard near Bristol, the first biodynamic vineyard in the south-west of England. Planted in 2015, the vineyard grows eight different varieties of vine, and produces only certified biodynamic and natural wines. Robin originally worked as an architect and a landscape architect before training as a university lecturer, teaching Landscape Architecture at degree and postgraduate level for 10 years. He teaches regular workshops in Biodynamic Wine growing on the vineyard, and is the current Chair of the UK Biodynamic Association (BDA) Certification Board.

Stay in touch

Spaces are limited and we anticipate high demand following the success of our 2022 course. If you're not sure about registering just yet however, submit your email below and we'll keep you informed about the course or other future viticulture and wine related offerings.

Other Contributors Include:

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

 

Teaching and Learning Methods

  • 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

FAQs

  • When is the course starting?

    The course will begin mid-January 2023, with the first bi-weekly seminar on Tuesday 24 January in the evening (BST). 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: info@bdacollege.org.uk