At Emiliana it is essential to respect three basic principals of biodynamics, the science developed from the thoughts of Austrian-Hungarian philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925):
1. The land is a living being with a natural balance that must be maintained by enclosing its cycles of nutrients within the same farm and minimizing the outside elements that enter the system. In other words, human intervention should not alter the farm’s natural biological balance but rather conserve its existing balance.
2. Plants are exposed to light from the sun, the moon, and the planets, which have regular cycles and rhythms. At Emiliana we recognize these cycles and their influences and use the “biodynamic calendar” to program our assorted agricultural activities and other tasks to obtain better fruit and greater quality in our wines.
3. We must encourage the connections between the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms by using “homeopathic” biodynamic preparations.
At Emiliana we use biodynamic preparations made from organic and mineral elements at specific times of the year to energize and revitalize the earth, compost, and plants.
There are nine biodynamic preparations (BD 500–508) used to attract cosmic forces and animal energy:
500 Horn Manure
501 Silica or quartz
502 Yarrow blossoms (Achillea millefolium)
503 Chammomile blossoms (Chamomilla recutita)
504 Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)
505 Oak bark (Quercus pedunculata)
506 Dandelion flowers (Taraxacum officinate)
507 Valerian flowers (Valeriana officinate)
508 Horsetail plant (Equisetum officinate)
The medicinal herbs help the micro-organisms in the compost to digest the organic matter (the same as drinking herb tea after a meal aids in human digestion). The compost therefore rises in temperature, produces less odor, and increases in microbiology and nutritional capacity.