In the biodynamic calendar, there’s the ideal day for everything – whether it’s planting new vines, picking the fruit or even drinking the wine, aka "wine days".
Biodynamic farming is like a supercharged form of organic farming, with the added element of tending to your plants/crops/wines on days determined by both the lunar cycle and astrological signs. These days are fruit, flower, leaf and root days.
We chatted to Ben Paxton to explain the role of the moon in making the moment just right.
Looking to the Stars
There are twelve star signs in our skies which the moon, sun, and planets all pass through - these are the physical star constellations rather than the horoscopes in astrology.
Every month, the moon moves through the constellations throughout its lunar cycle (about 27.5 days in each cycle). Where the moon is in its cycle determines which “day” it is. For this reason, days can begin as one kind of day and transition into a new kind of day. For instance, if the moon moves into the constellation Leo from 12 midday, as Leo determines that day to be a “Fruit Day” the rest of the day will be considered a “Fruit Day” even if it started as a root, leaf, or flower day. Kind of like how you might wake up in an amazing mood and then remember that you’re presenting a meeting at 9:00am that you forgot to prepare your slides for. That amazing mood sure can change fast!
Looking Beyond The Stars
Although highly influential, the constellations are not the only elements that can determine which days are the best wine days. Elements like lunar eclipses and other planetary movements can be considered detrimental to planting or drinking on a particular day. This is why most biodynamic farmers will keep a copy of the biodynamic calendar, to keep on top of things. We have a copy of the Antipodean calendar in our office, includes everything from the lunar cycles to when birds are migrating to when eggs are hatching and even when foxes are leaving their dens!
So, When Can I Drink Wine?
Followers of the Biodynamic Calendar claim that fruit and flower days are the best days for drinking wine. This doesn’t actually come from the creator fo the biodynamic calendar, Maria Thun, but the wine industry itself after noticing that their wines tasted better consistently on particular days. Both for conventionally made wines and biodynamically farmed wines. Sounds like something the Vineful team should investigate!
To be fair, everyone’s palate is different and there are numerous other things that could affect your palate. A glass of Merlot might not be the most appetizing beverage after you’ve guzzled your own body weight in coffee on a fruit day. A chilled glass of Rosé on a warm summers’ evening after a long day at the office could be the absolute best even on a root day. But it’s always fun to experiment so let’s get the taste tests going!
Ben Paxton, of Paxton Wines, breaks down the Biodynamic Wine Days:
Fruit Days 🍇
When the moon is in a fire sign: Aires, Leo and Sagittarius.
Many biodynamic winemakers believe that fruit days are the best for tasting wines. As the Paxton fellas put it: “eat grapes, pick grapes.”
Root Days 🌱
When the moon is in an Earth sign: Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo.
Roots days are apparently the worst days for tasting wine as it will bring on more “earthy” qualities to the wine while subduing the fruit.
Instead, Paxton recommends: “Potato bake, water vineyard” - maybe not in that order!
Flower Days 🌼
When the moon is in an air sign: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.
Flower days are supposedly the best for aromatic whites like Riesling, Albariño, or Gewürztraminer.
But Paxton also advises that on flower days you should “be nice to your partner,” - maybe with a delicious glass (or two) of white wine!
Leaf Days 🍃
When the moon is in a water sign: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.
As the name suggests, plants are busy growing their leaves during leaf days, so perhaps not the best to drink wine. Or as Paxton team advises: “enjoy green juices, watch leaves grow.”