Wine that Makes You Look Up

by Sep 9, 2021News0 comments

Wines that Make You Look Up

Can you imagine having a device that magnifies your view and never thinking to look up, never pointing it toward the sky? Until August 25, 1609, nobody had.

Enter Galileo Galilee, the man who changed the way we see and interpret all that is above us.

Ever since the Cognitive Revolution, humankind has scrutinized the celestial bodies overhead. What was/is their impact on our lives? The moon was always of particular interest, this waning and waxing light at night. But for most of our history, the moon was simply a spiritual or religious entity, one of great speculation.

Until the telescope.

Suddenly, Galileo was sketching craters and mountains, dispelling previous notions of a simple smooth surface shining bright. The moon became something we could study and map.

Jump to the 1920s, some 300 years later, when Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner began lecturing farmers on an ecological and sustainable approach to agriculture that incorporated the moon and other celestial bodies. This holistic methodology is now known and practiced around the world as biodynamic farming.

Would Galileo ever believe that we farmed a certain way per his help in understanding the heavens? Could he ever conceive that a man would walk on the surface he discovered was not smooth just 360 years after that first sketch?!

Biodynamic farming is also widely practiced in viticulture around the world, having gained traction in the 1980s under pioneer Nicolas Joly in the Loire Valley.

Winegrowers that appreciate the highest quality of raw material often follow Steiner’s guidance, avoiding intervention whenever possible. The thinking is that if wine can indeed make itself, let it be.

However, unlike Galileo proving that the sun had spots and we revolve around it, not the other way around, biodynamic farming is still hypothetical. Some scientists downright deny that the moon affects anything other than tides and illuminance. Others brush it off as a marketing scheme.

But then many also doubted Galileo…

Steiner believed in creating a self-sufficient ecosystem rich in biodiversity to be farmed according to the lunar calendar. Planting, pruning and harvesting should follow the cycles of the moon so that the vines can get the most from nature’s energy and balance.

It gets more complex with fruit, root, leaf and flower categories that consider when the moon is passing in front of constellations to act as a lens, affecting different parts of the plant. The calendar also guides the winemaking process, such as when to extract and when to rack.

Then there’s the act of packing cow horns with manure and burying them to ferment during winter before digging them up in the spring and diluting the mixture to spray on the vines. Again, it’s complex.

But is the final product any better? Taste is subjective, so there is no definitive answer. However, don’t the highest quality raw materials and practices usually create the best products?

Several of the wines in our portfolio adhere to biodynamic farming. For example Seña, Vinedo Chadwick and Chateau Coutet. Others at least go as far as organic practices.

All biodynamic farming is organic, but not all organic farming is biodynamic. I believe they’re both a step in the right direction. Life is about balance.

And if anything, at least drinking biodynamic wines make us look up.

What do you think? Marketing or meaningful? Grab a glass of Seña to think about it and let me know!


Explore More from Our Blog

The Beginning and The End.

Alas, the sun has crossed the celestial equator from north to south. Summer is now quite uneasy, shifting into fall in the north, while life is springing into action down south. What a beautiful time of the year! When grapes are cut from the vine to create new wine,...

Ever heard of a wine cocktail?

DEAR READER, I hope some of you learned from the reader letter last week [hyperlink to Week Ten post] and checked your attics! You never know how much wine sits above you, waiting to be uncorked and decanted—on someone else’s dime! Dear Sommelier Ferdinand, I have a...

The Future of Wine

We humans are bold if nothing else. Unlike any other species (that we know of), only we have chosen time and again to go boldly where no other has gone before. This holds especially true to the modern European, the first to really “discover” ignorance. Though they...

What on earth is a ‘Wine Decanter’?

DEAR READER, It’s come to my attention that many of you are ill-informed, misinformed, and frankly, uninformed about how wine is to be consumed. Were I only a wine enthusiast, it would be wholly dispiriting. But—wine is my profession, and I’m obligated to recognize...

“What’s My Next Question?” – Benjamin Kaplan

What’s My Next Question? On a random day like today 11 years ago, a legendary Harvard Law professor and lawyer, Benjamin Kaplan, died at 99 years of age. A rich, marked life that left an impact long after his last breathe. Apart from influencing the likes of Ruth...

Should you be swirling your wine before consumption?

DEAR READER, Through all the melodrama of the past few weeks, I’ve neglected to educate the newcomers about the art of winetasting. So, I dug deep into my inbox for this query: Sommelier Ferdinand, I went to a ball last night and wasn’t aware of the proper pre-drink...

Sommelier Ferdinand answers “What’s the point of drinking wine from a hundred years ago?”.

DEAR READER, I’ve heard what you’ve all had to say, and I’ve decided to reach out to Jerry, once again, to bury the hatchet. Who’s to say if he would be open to making amends… but I made the effort, on behalf of all you insightful readers! I’ll keep you all updated on...


DEAR READER, Something unprecedented has happened. My assistant has received an additional letter from Jerry. Remember him—from last week [READ HERE] Well, our beloved wine purist wrote back after reading yesterweek’s column: Sommelier Ferdinand, I don’t care about...

Transcending Time through Wine

On August 11, 1888, The Scientific American published its 658th issue, replete with exciting findings. From “A Study on Whirlwinds,” to “The Distillation of Peppermint" and thoughts on the human conscious, this popular science magazine had already been around since...

Boxed Wine and an angry recipient.

What an experience, to receive all your criticisms. That would shake any normal individual. But I’ve spent years having my judgments under a microscope, so I’ve learned to shut my doors to it. You are all welcome to try—but I won’t be changing any time soon! Speaking...

Sommelier Ferdinand answers “What it takes to become a Sommelier”.

DEAR READER, As the grapes grow richer, so do the bottler and buyer! Wine is an investment, my dear readers. Never forget the long game! Now, for some advice you folks have solicited: Sommelier Ferdinand, I want to be a sommelier, like yourself. I have the respect for...

Harry Potter and the Magical Creation of Seña 2007

On July 21, 2007, J.K. Rowling released her seventh and final book of a most memorable series. In just 24 hours, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sold more than 11 million copies! On that same day, in a land more fascinating than Hogwarts, Seña 2007 was getting...