Today we welcome Katherine Cole in the studio to discuss her book Voodoo Vintners and ask her how traditional farming techniques have been rediscovered by modern winemakers. We also explore the idea behind the title of her book and the connection that biodynamic philosophies have to witchcraft and or mysticism, along with a history lesson on the movements philosopher Rudolf Steiner.
Katherine Cole writes wine columns for the FOODday section of “The Oregonian” newspaper and “Mix” magazine. Voodoo Vintners, her book on biodynamic winegrowing, was published in June 2011 by Oregon State University Press.
Katherine’s work has appeared in numerous national magazines. She holds degrees from Harvard College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has studied with the International Sommelier Guild, and has taught journalism courses at Portland State University.
00:01 Wine Down Introduction
00:43 Welcoming Katherine Cole.
01:49 The history of “conventional” agriculture.
03:08 Oregon–ground zero of biodynamic growing.
04:01 More than just a marketing term–the fundamentals of Biodynamic.
05:52 Preparing the soil with “homeopathic treatments.”
07:42 The moon cycle and keeping the plants calm and happy with ancient planting cycles.
09:22 The reasoning behind the preparations and the observations of Rudolf Steiner.
11:26 Wrapping our minds around the tiny doses of biodynamic preparations.
13:23 Starting from the soil to build the wine from the bottom up.
15:14 The secret behind the “hocus-pocus:” Basic, good farming.
17:28 Justifying outsourced biodynamic preparations.
19:25 The common thread between biodynamic farmers.
21:13 Tasting a suspect biodynamic wine.
22:36 The difference between biodynamic winemaking and biodynamic growing.
23:54 The lunar cycle and wine making.
26:35 Emphasizing the poly-cultural model on farms.
27:04 Inspirational farmers that draw from their heritage.
28:46 Some history on Rudolf Steiner–the philosopher behind biodynamics from the age of the seánce.
31:56 Crop placement and practices from before WWI return to the present.
34:27 Biodynamics save winemaking in Oregon.
36:27 Getting involved in biodynamics and working with a consultant.
40:14 Titling the book, “Voodoo Vintners,” and not offending Haitians.
42:49 The naysayers to biodynamics.
44:34 What is the next step beyond biodynamic?
46:35 Healing the earth you grow on.
47:36 Where to keep up with the book and Katherine.
48:21 “Cheers!” and thanks.