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The mother of all practices

What sets Staindl Wines apart from so many other producers on the Mornington Peninsula? The good sh*t.

And we mean that literally.

You know about organic agricultural processes: wine is produced without the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals. This makes it healthier for you, but not necessarily for the environment where production is taking place.

Staindl Wines has been producing wine for nearly 20 years and producing wine from a certified biodynamic vineyard since 2017.

Biodynamic takes organic principles even further by giving vitality back to the environment it takes energy from, making the ecology stronger and more resilient to stress, pests and climatic damage.

The principles were first espoused in the west by Rudolph Steiner. As the ancients were doing for millennia before modern farming practices (and a white man claimed it), the philosophy is bound to the energetic vibrations of the earth and cosmos.

What you see on our Instagram ‘500’ or Horn Manure 500 being vortexed in a vat.

This homeopathic formula is the foundation of biodynamic practice. It is sprayed in our Staindl Wines vineyard twice a year within very specific conditions during Spring and Autumn, before the most intense period of biological activity in the soil has started.

The basis of the formula seems unorthodox, but it makes an impact.

The manure from a mature cow, specifically a mother, is packed into a cow horn and buried in the ground for 6 months over winter. A bit like Feng Shui, the cow horn is ‘polarised’ – buried with its length aligning the north-south axis to imbue it with Earth’s energetical forces.

Having four stomachs, cows have extraordinary power to produce incredibly nutrient-dense manure. Steiner’s philosophies also give huge functional and spiritual importance to bovine horns as a sense organ.

The horns are connected to the animal’s bloodstream and sinus, playing a subtle but important part in the cow’s health as well as in the quality of its digestion.

Once removed from the soil, the contents of the horn resemble a thick, brown paste. Stored in a dark and damp location so as not to lose its energy, we mix it at two parts per million with water. Such a low potency is all that’s required.

Mixing the composite at a particular speed through a vortex helps the flow form generate a certain shape (again, to absorb energy). We then spray this as a homeopathic formula and allow our vines to ‘open up’. Helping in humus formation, water retention and the development of their roots, they become more resilient and cope better with disease and stress.

Some of the most awarded labels swear by biodynamic practices; Burgundy’s Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is amongst its early adopters. In many ways this approach is no different from giving your kids a nutritious diet, a robust education and the resilience to give their best back to the world.

We hope you enjoy drinking it as much as we enjoy making it.

Paul and the Staindl Wines team

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