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Nov 17, 2005 12:36 AM

Wine casked under Full Moon...Why

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I bought a bottle of Argentinian Malbec in NYC last week, made by Vicien. The store owner told me a good story about it:

Apparently, it's made with organic grapes and not filtered. They take the wine from the tank into the casks only when there's a full moon, so the sediments naturally fall to the bottom of the tank due to changes in the gravitational forces on Earth at that time of the month. Somehow related to the ebb and tide of the sea.

Can anyone explain this better?

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  1. That's a new version on me.

    And let me state that I think the 'full moon' theories are without merit. Especially in the modern world.

    However, there is value to picking before sunrise. And before sunrise the primary natural light source is the moon. And in regions where things ripen slowly one can choose when to harvest so that moonlight is maximized. So you have a reasonable explanation for full-moon harvesting.

    Beyond that, when you get one shot a year for your entire livlihood, you tend to be superstitous. Or you like to have a story that retailers around the world can use to personalize your wine versus the other thousand available.

    But the tooth fairy is real (g).

    1. This might be part of a biodynamic regimen.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jim Dorsch

        Yes, and many winemakers who may not have adopted the full biodynamic protocol have started racking by the phases of the moon. They tell me that the wine recovers faster, so they do it even though they don't believe the biodynamic philosophy's explanation.

      2. There are, of course, changes in the effect of the combined gravitational pull of the sun & moon at the time of full moon (and also new moon) - that's why we have so-called "spring," or higher/lower than normal tides at those times. That much is based in science, but to suggest that the same forces that produce the tides can have any meaningful effect on the settling rate of particles in a liquid is nonsense, or at best superstition, which amounts to the same thing.

        1. I think that the wine store was not really understanding what biodynamic wine is. Here's a recent Chowhound discussion. The wine you mention is, in fact, a biodynamic wine.

          "Cabernet de los Andes SA was started in the year 2000 by Pedro Vicien and Carlos Arizu to develop high-altitude organic and biodynamic wines in the Valley of Fiambala in the Catamarca Andes. This desertic and desolate area with vineyards of 1400 to 1800 metres above sea level renders red wines of dramatic intense colours and strong varietal flavours."

          Source: London International Wine and Spirits fair.

          How did you like it?

          Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...