If he hadn’t passed into another form in March of 1925, last Monday would have been Rudolf Steiner’s 158th birthday. We winos know Steiner as the father of Biodynamic farming, but he was also the founder of the Waldorf School, and a spiritualist who believed in reincarnation. A contemporary of Friedrich Nietzsche, Henry James, and Oscar Wilde, Steiner was born in what is now Croatia, then a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and gained early academic acclaim as a publisher, scientist, philosopher and critic.
At the request of a group of concerned vegetable farmers, Steiner delivered a series of lectures in June of 1924, in what is now Poland, in which he laid out the principles for a holistic, chemical-free, ecologically sustainable system of agriculture. These Biodynamic practices took planting and harvesting cues from cosmic motion, like moon phases, and incorporated the use of animal manure and natural botanical remedies made from nettles, oak bark, and dandelion.
There are now over 700 certified Biodynamic vineyards, covering over 25,000 acres, and while these techniques do not necessarily result in a tasty wine, they do ensure that the grapes are grown ‘naturally’ and sustainably, and I believe, as do many, that this engagement with, and respect for, the environment allows wines to speak of their place, to be wines of ‘terroir’. Happy Birthday, wherever you are, and thank you, Rudy, you wacky Austrian hippy, for getting us on the right track.
TONIGHT: Thursday Night Flights! FRENCH REDS OR WHITES: Wines from the Cévennes, the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, Alsace, & Gascony - $12 tasting flights from 4 to 8pm.
SATURDAY 3/2: CABERNET SAUVIGNON tasting flights – Sample Cabs from the Rhone Valley, the Languedoc, Bordeaux, and Mendocino - $15 tasting - Flights from 2 to 6pm and wines by the glass until 9pm.
SUNDAY 3/3: ITALIAN RED TASTING FLIGHTS & WINE CLUB PICK UP - ALL NEW Etna Rosso, Schiava and Barbera – $15 tasting – FREE for wine club members - Flights from 2 to 6 - and wines by the glass until 8pm.