Preparations

Demeter certification requires the use of Biodynamic® preparations. There are nine preparations made from herbs, minerals and manures. These preparations are applied to the soil and vineyards in very small doses using Biodynamic calendars to guide the timing of applications. The results of the preparations benefit the soil fertility with increased microorganism development and photosynthetic activity.

Timing is critical to Biodynamic farming, so making and applying the proper preparations is of the utmost importance to the success and overall health of the ecosystem at Bonterra Organic Vineyards. By adding fermented manure at the beginning of the season the fertility of the soil is enhanced, while adding quartz at the height of production helps the plants make the most of summer sunlight.

Plants

Yarrow, chamomile, stinging nettle, oak bark, dandelion and valerian each play a role in strengthening and in some cases remedying weaknesses in the vineyards. Teas and tinctures are made from either fresh or dried plants and sprayed to increase active regeneration on the farm.

Minerals

Finely ground quartz is made into a paste and inserted into cow horns. These horns are buried in the earth over the summer, and dug up in the fall. The matured paste is added to water which is then sprayed on the vines. The quartz helps catch light and encourages photosynthesis.

Horns

In the fall, cow manure is inserted into cow horns and then buried for around 6 months. The fermented manure is dug up at this point and diluted with water before being sprayed on the soil. The result is improved soil structure and microbiological activity.

Lunar Phases

We consult various Biodynamic calendars which recommend dates for sowing, cultivation and harvesting based on the complex movements of the moon and planets.

Natural Partners

Life in all forms is a cornerstone for the Biodynamic approach. Sheep, chickens, birds and hundreds of insect species bring dynamic diversity to our ranches with countless benefits, assisting in our effort to be self-sufficient.

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