Slow Food Nation is coming up!  From August 29 – September 1, in San Francisco, thousands of people will come and celebrate the philosophy behind Slow Food USA.  All types of food that is local, fair, clean, and strengthens the economy will be available.  Of course, given that Biodynamic® food and wine are the “cleanest” available, it is terrific to see that on Sunday there will be a session titled “Biodynamics and Wine”.

From the official site,

Wines produced from biodynamically-grown grapes, farmed by gentle methods good for the earth, are a true expression of place. Four wineries will describe their disciplined biodynamic practices and ongoing, intuitive awareness while they present wines for tasting from their certified Biodynamic® properties: Paul Dolan Vineyards, Ceago Vinegarden, Grgich Hills Estate, among others. This workshop holds 45 people.

For the cost of $20, this is sure to be a very popular event with terrific information sharing and delicious tastings.  Buy tickets here.

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The New York Times included the Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm in a writeup on New Jersey Farm Shares.  The

The Times stated,

The Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farm, 41B Silver Lake Road; (908) 362-7486; www.csgatgenesisfarm.com. Some of the nearly 300 members of this C.S.A., which began in 1988, help with the work on the 51-acre biodynamic farm; all members share in what’s grown. Year-round (50 weeks; $1,707 for a full share) and summer shares (May 20 to Nov. 25; full shares $1,179), and half-shares, with pickups every other week, are available. Pickup is at the farm or at sites in Teaneck, Morristown, Montclair, Caldwell, Glen Rock and Madison.

The farm’s website, commenting on their Biodynamic farming practices, states,

The gardeners use biodynamic practices based on the spiritual insights of the Austrian scientist-philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) Biodynamics treats the soil as a living organism. It strives to build the soil and correct imbalances through the use of dynamic preparations prescribed by Steiner. They are used directly on the soil, on maturing plants, in the treatment of fungal diseases and insect infestations and in the making of compost. Sound organic practices are also employed using diverse cover crops, calculated crop rotations and careful tillage. Chemical pesticides are not used and we rarely need to implement organic pest control. The care and attention the gardeners bring to their work stimulate the health and energy of the community’s food.

With 300 members, the farm is strongly supported.  Hopefully, many others on the NY Time’s list will begin to adopt similar practices.

The Sonoma Locavore Experience is a three-day tour created by The Grape Leaf Inn, in partnership with Relish Culinary Adventures and Scott Beattie Cocktails, to experience,

Sustainable farms and vineyards in the realms of cooking, mixology and winemaking. Visit organic and biodynamic vineyards and farms, cook and savor meals and cocktails that feature ingredients grown, raised or produced within thirty miles of the charming town of Healdsburg, and meet the people whose dedication to sustainability is a natural part of life in this bountiful and beautiful region.

Part of the trip involves a stop at Quivira Vineyards, where visitors will be exposed to Biodynamic® farming and winemaking.  As this site grows, we receive a lot of traffic from Sonoma.  If anyone takes the trip, please let us know as it sounds wonderful.

Manresa is a high-end restaurant out of Los Gatos, California. In today’s San Francisco Gate, David Kinch, the chef at Manresa is grouped with other 4-star chefs in a discussion about top chefs. Concerning David, the paper states that “he’s a partner in a biodynamic garden that produces much of the produce used in the restaurant.”

More and more frequently, chefs are balancing and supplementing their kitchens with Biodynamic® gardens. It makes great sense for quality of product and it’s a strong marketing tactic for patrons who desire the freshest and most natural ingredients possible.

More about David here.

College On the Record wrote a brief story on Biodynamic® agriculture.  Their introduction states, “Biodynamic farming may not be all the rage now, but this slightly cult-like agricultural phenomenon may bring salvation to our overly processed and polluted world.” Cult-like?  Nah.  We prefer “passionate”!

Topel Winery announced today that they won a Telly Award for in the Travel/Tourism category of the Film/Video division.  The winery earned the bronze award for their video highlighting their winery and and winemaking process.

The Telly Awards honor local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs, along with work created for the web.

Topel Winery crafts premium wines while adhering to Biodynamic® agricultural practices.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Jody Scheckter, the ex-Formula One driver, has purchased a Biodynamic® farm, according to the Birmingham Mail.  That farm is home to the brewery that makes Laverstock Park Farm Organic Ale.  Sounds delicious!

Crushpad is a San Francisco-based company that allows you to become a winemaker.  The customer is intimately involved in the winemaking process and they receive their own designed label and bottles at the conclusion of the customizable process.  The minimum order is 25 cases (1 barrel) and prices range between $5,700 – $10,900. Crushpad recently raised a $9 million round of financing to grow their operations.

Putting a slight Biodynamic twist on the Crushpad idea is Grand Cru Estates.  Grand Cru Estates takes the same model of Crushpad and allows you to make your own wine.  Sadly, their press release doesn’t indicate that they will allow you to make Biodynamic wines.  Fortunately, however, they will feature a “biodynamic kitchen” at their Oregon vineyard for members.  Memberships start at “an initial membership fee of $5,000 for the first 30 founding members, along with a $20,000 fee for each member barrel.”

Daily Green is the “Consumer’s Guide to the Green Revolution”.  It really is a terrific site.  When Biodynamic® wines start hitting their pages, you know the revolution is coming. Today, they published “Buy Biodynamic Wine” where they state,

Next time you are in the mood for a glass of wine, consider making it biodynamic. Biodynamic wines are becoming much more widely available, and many are highly regarded, as well as better for the Earth.

They also used a picture from Cooper Mountain wines!  Great day indeed!

Cleve Twitchell of the Mail Tribune wrote a nice update on Cowhorn Vineyard and Garden and also briefly reviewed their Syrah:

Cowhorn 2006 Syrah ($32) is a special, distinctive, rich wine that holds up well after opening. I thought it was at its best on day three. The aftertaste has a hint of sweetness.

Cowhorn is becoming an in demand vineyard as their wines age and Biodynamic® wines gain in popularity in the United States.

See our previous news on Cowhorn here.

About Demeter and Biodynamic Certification

Demeter® USA is the non-profit American chapter of Demeter International, the world’s only certifier of Biodynamic® farms, processors and products. From farm to market, Demeter's rigorous standards ensure compliance to the highest agricultural and environmental practices. These practices include organic certification prohibitions against the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and go much further to include a biodiversity set aside of 10% of total land, on-farm fertility and pest control, rigorous processing standards that emphasize minimal product manipulation, and most importantly whole farm certification (versus a particular crop or area allowed in organic certification). It is the highest paradigm of sustainable farming, offering one of the smallest carbon footprints of any agricultural method. Only those companies that meet these standards are permitted to display the Demeter certification mark on their products, or refer to their farms or products as "Biodynamic."