Friday, April 17, 2009

A voice of Reason in these dark times...

I just got through reading his letter to the editors of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, somewhat taking them to task for the nonsensical video of Mike Benziger on the PD site touting his Biodynamic philosophy. I've clipped the letter he wrote here, as well as provide the link for the PD letters for Fri April 17th...
The best lines have to be...
"...People today make all sorts of assertions with little or no connection to the truth, and biodynamics is no different. Show me the scientific experiments that prove biodynamic soils and vines are healthier and biodynamic wines are better.
... in my opinion, biodynamics is a hoax and deserves the same level of respect we give to witchcraft. On Earth Day or another day, animal sacrifices (a biodynamic farming practice) should not be an acceptable practice of modern day agriculture or our society."
That's poetry. And my heart is warmed that people out there are starting to take notice of this mis-represented farming practice which wants everyone to think it naught but "peasant agriculture".......

A BIG thanks to Mr.Smith for his letter of reason!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe what needs to happen is that it should get even more publicity. That way more people will be able to see exactly what they do.
Could it implode when that happens?
I hope so!


April 17, 2009 9:55 AM  
Blogger dougsmith said...

Glad to hear there are other people out there willing to stand up for reason and evidence. Thanks for the heads up, Vinny.

April 17, 2009 11:09 AM  
Blogger St. Vini said...

There are some, Doug.

And more are out there, according to a friend of mine who talked with an ex-Bonny Doon employee who stated she thought the whole thing was bunk, but admired the growers who were "misguided but at least trying"....

I just hope to encourage whatever sort of critical thought about this topic I come upon. Giving props for those out there who are renouncing this drivel seems like a good way to give them their due!


April 17, 2009 1:37 PM  
Blogger Bo Simons said...

Stu Smith makes some great wines at Smith Madrone, but he sounds a little bit shrill about biodynamics. I think biodynamic is a little woo-woo, but what's wrong with that? Small scale, adverse to fence-to-fence monoculture, intuitive, big on recycling, aware of the damage that huge farm equipment does to soils - what is wrong with that, even if there is a little of cowhorns in the moonlight?

I would invite the Zinquisition, Stu and every other Biodynamic skeptic to bring his good questions, honest concerns and discerning palatte show up at the Jackson Theater on Friday August 24, for a program titled, "Why Biodynamic?" featuring Paul Dolan, Jeremey Fox and Alan York. Jeff Cox will moderate. The biodynamic viewpoint and wines and foods will be explored. There is a fee. Proceeds benefit the Sonoma County Wine Library, where I work.


for more info.

Bo Simons

April 17, 2009 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Bennett said...

I always thought it was similar to "crystology" or all those other new age fads. Silly but harmless. However, I was really turned off here in Argentina when I saw deer bladders being hung from trees that surrounded the vineyard and, if I understood correctly, goat spleens being buried in each corner of the farm! Animal sacrifice? In terms of producing fine grapes, where is the connection?That is right up there with alien abductions, if you ask me.

April 19, 2009 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Virginia wine said...

Biodynamics always been a matter of faith. In that context, it's much more difficult to attack because much of what we do in winemaking is also faith-based (i.e. based on culture, tradition, hunches, etc). I will give an A for effort though to anyone that goes 100% BD, instead of just with their high-end wines.

April 21, 2009 6:44 AM  
Blogger St. Vini said...


Seriously you ask "what is wrong with that"...?

Really? You ask that question here?I hope you have a copy of Steiner's 1924 Agricultural lectures there in the Wine Library - start by reading that, and see if you can make any sense of it. Steiner's ramblings were idiotic, and his attribution of anthropomorphic qualities to elements absolutely ridiculous.
I've talked with many people who point to Steiner's other accomplishments, as if these release him from any liability for his piss poor philosophy on agriculture.

I am glad you are going to get some support from the event, the SoCo Wine Library is a great repository for many documents which would probably not be available to the public otherwise. But the problems with attributing mold issues to phases of the moon and "lack" of proper "solar influences" belittles all the work of REAL science in trying to uncover what forces really are at work in nature, and how we can then apply those conclusions properly to the situation.

"Big on recycling"?
Yeah, so am I...but I don't need some ill-formed quasi-religious dogma based on crappy pseudo-science and couched as "peasant agriculture" to be able to do that, now do I?

In a market when all is in turmoil, why would I go to a consultant to buy bullshit which spent 6 months buried in a cow's horn, when I should be worrying about how to make sure I have enough cash inflow so I don't have to fire someone who works for me right now?
What do I tell that person as I hand them the pink slip - that I'd rather spend it on theories which remain unproven 75 years after they were first put forth?

THAT'S what's wrong with's a distraction from that which TRULY IS important.

The one thing which biodynamics does do well is it places importance on being in your vineyard a lot.
That's it.

Good luck with your meeting.
You really DON'T want me there...


April 21, 2009 2:40 PM  
Blogger St. Vini said...

Yes, Virginia, a matter of faith, just like Santa Claus...
(sorry - couldn't resist!)

BioD IS a matter of belief, and such is made clear by Steiner himself. But many adherents - including consultants who peddle this lunacy for profit - claim that these results are defensible using scientific methods, or that they HAVE been proven in the past, neither of which is true.

And worse yet, they demand that those non-believers of us in the mainstream prove them wrong, when the onus of proving their claims clearly lies with them.

The best example of this is when you ask a consultant what energies it is they are "collecting" in the "horn silica"...they usually reply that is it some sort of "harmonious harmonic energy", but can't seem to define it.
When asked to quantify it, they throw the request back with a "prove it otherwise" response, or some anecdote about a tasting they held once, etc. Nothing provable, and always inscrutable.

True there have been many fallacy based practices in the past...and its for that reason I avoid "peasant practices". Frankly that term alone should raise more eyebrows than almost anything else - when you hear it, be careful!
Thanks to the teams of real researchers using the scientific method of inquiry, many of those erroneous practices have been discredited. Biodynamics would have you continue to march forwards with those absurd practices regardless.


April 21, 2009 2:59 PM  
Blogger Bo Simons said...

OOPS, This is Bo Simons again, correcting the date on my last post. The correct date for the "Why Biodynamic?" event is this Friday, April 24, 7 PM, Jackson Theater, info and tickets: 707-284-3200.

April 22, 2009 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wine makers who have any sort of background in science, and use "biodynamics" as a marketing tool are being dishonest cynics -- frauds, really. I would like to see some research project put this nonsense to a real scientific test. The best vineyard management is developed by good scientific procedures -- not by howling at the moon ,or doing ancient rain dances.

April 23, 2009 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is wrong with Biod?
There are wineries that are using BD simply as marketing tools -- the idea is to flim-flam the public, and give them an edge in a very competitive industry. For these wineries and growers it is pure cynicism.


May 19, 2009 4:47 PM  
Blogger New World Agriculture said...

The only God who make the Agriculture was Jehovah God, the rest is stories based on the lies of the father of all lies, Satan. Demeter is an idolatry, pagan Cult only

April 19, 2014 2:49 AM  

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