2007 vintage verbatim: Nicolas Joly on biodynamics


How will vintage 2007 turn out in France where it rained much of the summer? A few weeks ago, I posted a comment that someone in the trade in France told me: “We’ll see who are the real biodynamic producers this year. If they’re really biodynamic, this year they won’t have any wine.”

With a rebuttal today, via email from the Coulée de Serrant in Savennieres in Loire, we have Nicolas Joly. He is a leading practitioner of biodynamics and wrote the book “From Sky to Earth” to help vignerons around the world in their conversion to biodynamics. I say vignerons and not “winemakers” because his business card reads “Nicolas Joly, Gérant de la Société, Nature assistant and not a winemaker.” To his email:

All serious biodynamists had no problems with disease! I lost maybe 1% of the crop. There were as many people caught on the conventional side as on the organic/biodynamic side. Any serious person will confirm this. Those who were caught were those who have not much experience with mildew-rare though they are. Mildew’s development is a very fast–one or two days as opposed to a month for oidium–so you need to react very fast reaction. It’s simple: treat after the rain with very small doses of copper each time. We used around 5.5 to 6 kg of cooper per hectare this year, about 50% more than last years. We had the strongest pressure for 20 years.The 501 BD treatment was also very efficient. The negative statements come from people who either have no understanding of BD or who want to justified the fact that they did not move toward a better farming.

I have a new book coming in the US soon for consumers (it just came out in French ) and will be available in Italian, Portuguese and Spanish soon.

On February 9th and 11th part of the group “Return to Terroir” will be in Montreal and Toronto [for a tasting of biodynamic wines].

(image, with permission)

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8 Responses to “2007 vintage verbatim: Nicolas Joly on biodynamics”

  1. Interesting. Copper fungicides are extremely toxic:


    E.g.: “Most animal life in soil, including large earthworms, have been eliminated by the extensive use of copper containing fungicides in orchards.”

    For people interested in a discussion of biodynamics, I would suggest here: http://www.finewinemag.com/index.php?action=page&p=join_the_debate&postid=5#post

  2. Chemical farmers are often pointing to the toxicity of bioD farmers use of copper. However they fail to point out the ratio of copper used in mixture. Unlike lead or mercury, our bodies need some copper. Personally, I’d rather take my chances with a responsible farmer who uses copper when needed than a sustainable farmer who uses plenty of chemicals as a matter of course.

  3. I know that Doug is not a “chemical farmer” (and neither am I). I also know that copper is a broad-spectrum fungicide, killing beneficial as well as pathogenic fungal species. The issue here is ecoystem health – not just impacts on humans.

  4. Linda, Was not meaning to raise the fur to imply either of you are farming conventionally. Was merely reporting what I have observed, especially after a trip to Champagne. There was plenty of happy life in the copper treated bioD vineyards and not so in the ‘sustainable,’ or conventional ones.

  5. I just posted an article today on a vineyard in Provence which uses biodynamic farming. They had a good season, and in the owner’s blog, you can read about some of his interesting practices!

  6. […] problem while I was harvesting at Chateau Bauduc in September, and while there are some strong opinions around, I’m still looking for […]

  7. […] just how did the NYT panel’s favorite wine, Nicolas Joly’s Les Clos Sacrés from the damp 2007 vintage, reach 15 percent alcohol? This is the Loire, not Lodi, after all. For perspective, I asked Nicolas […]

  8. […] Joly bei DrVino über Biodynamik (engl.), hier […]


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