Biodynamic winery: in the sky is the secret of the Marchisio Family

It’s easy to say biodynamic winery. There is a world behind it, bordering directly on heaven. All thanks to Rudolf Steiner. «He wrote that man is the only inhabitant of the Earth who poisons the food he eats». This, for Sergio Marchisio, was the starting point. An electrocution. The beginning of a revolution. From there, his biodynamic winery was born. «I said to myself, we have to relearn everything. That was many years ago». Today, biodynamic viticulture represents a “green” vanguard. Watchword: sustainability. Mission: restore fertility to the soil. The best cure is prevention: that’s how vines grow strong and healthy. That the wine is then also sensational is a logical consequence. Especially if a “magician” like Marchisio, always ready to experiment, operates in the cellar. Bubbles, screw cap, amphorae. That of ceramics is the latest frontier. Nebbiolo in amphora, Arneis in amphora. Thus heresies are transformed into masterpieces. Magics of the biodynamic winery.

Biodynamic is a philosophy: a different way of experiencing the earth. Horizon: full harmony, in the natural succession of the seasons. With the biodynamic method, the manuals remind us, «viticulture is in full harmony with the cosmos and with humans». The cosmos? Well, yes. According to Steiner, interaction with the heavens is direct. Moon, Mercury and Venus affect plant growth. They do this through water, humus and calcium (limestone, potassium and sodium). What about the more distant planets? Mars, Jupiter and Saturn would intervene through heat and silica (quartz) by hardening plants. The main Steiner preparations, dung-horn and silica-horn, are a practical extension of these ideas. Their action «affects the metabolic processes of the vines by means of energies carried into the soil by enhanced materials». This is how to “translate” the sky into an earthly ally, according to a precise astronomical calendar.

Biodynamic farmers, experts in the field observe, carefully choose the right time for each individual action. In fact, they adjust to the sky: «They rely on the cosmic forces active at that time». Alchemical science: it works. Results confirmed by scholars such as Maria Thun and Hartmut Spiess, hence the biodynamic sowing calendar used today by all Steiner farmers. There is this – and much more – in the Marchisio Family’s biodynamic winery. «For fertilizer we use only compost created with the biodynamic heap. No weeding, between the rows. On the contrary: crops such as mustard (green manure) return the minerals used in the summer by the vines to the soil». Certified organic, the farm is far “greener” than the Bio specification itself: «Copper and sulfur are now reduced to almost zero. To protect the vines we prefer to use essential oils, orange and rosemary».

Everything contributes to the great mission: to build harmony, with the help of heaven, by increasing the vitality of the soil. Fertility and biodiversity: this is how plants grow naturally, nourished by the soil ecosystem. Tasting the outcomes of this prodigy is easy. One only has to visit the biodynamic winery to realize this. One encounters unthinkable aromas, depths and evolutions otherwise attainable. Last touch, the micro-oxygenation guaranteed by the amphora. «It is precisely the ceramic», assures Sergio Marchisio, «that makes the wines evolve gently, without tears. Thus they become more soft, without ever showing signs of fatigue». This is confirmed by Valmaggiore, the Nebbiolo of records: the first in history to have been vinified in amphora. And so on, always experimenting. Pinot Noir and Riesling ended up in amphora. Finally, Arneis: thanks to ceramics, Roero’s white can also become long-lived. And it’s just the latest jewel of the biodynamic winery.

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