In the sign of the Archangel Michael, the promise of biodynamic fertility ensured by Rudolf Steiner’s manure-horn is renewed

There are gestures that mark an entire season, and dates that consecrate the commitment spent on our own land. September 29th – the day of St. Michael the Archangel, for the Christian calendar – is particularly dear to the followers of the father of biodynamics, Rudolf Steiner, who sees in the religious symbol of the archangel “the impulse of Michael”, conceived as the spirit protector of the rebirth of the Earth. After sunset, in fact, the Preparato 500, a very special fertilizer, is planted in the soil: fresh bovine manure from the day, inserted in the cavity of a cow’s horn. «The manure-horn stimulates and harmonizes the processes of humus formation in the soil», explain the biodynamic manuals, which Sergio Marchisio has scrupulously followed for many years. «Precisely, this particular fertilization – he explains – guarantees the vital comfort enjoyed by our vineyards, which literally explode with health. This is the fundamental premise to make sure that the bunches then give the best of the vine, in its maximum expression».

It starts with the freshest manure, introduced into the horns of cows that have calved at least once, and then planted in the soil. In the Easter period, then, the manure horns are unearthed. «At that point – explains Sergio Marchisio – the manure will be transformed into pure humus, dark in color and now completely odorless». The entire “harvest”, i.e. the humus extracted from the horns, will then be stored in a wooden container, kept cool in the cellar and protected from light. Finally, before being used, the Preparato 500 will be mixed and “dynamized” with very pure water. «This operation takes about an hour: every five minutes, the rotating direction of the dynamizer is reversed». For Steiner, that is a “magical” moment: just by breaking the water in a rotating and opposite direction, it’s as if fragments of sky entered into that preparation, destined to “marry” with the ancestral memory of the water that will then be sprayed.

A delicate alchemy, which – once the preparation has been sprinkled along the rows of vines – triggers the prodigious vegetative rebirth of the vines at the beginning of spring. A “rebirth” always observed with great astonishment: the plants treated with the biodynamic method, in fact, stand out for the great vigor, the intensity of the green color of their leaves and the upward tension of their climbing shoots. «Those who know our wines – Sergio Marchisio says – know that their richness, genuineness and depth derives precisely from natural practices like these, which Rudolf Steiner has taught». In 2020, then, with the world still struggling with the coronavirus problem, the day dedicated to the Archangel Michael can only take on a very special, augural meaning.

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