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Recs for Organic or Biodynamic Wines?

I'm planning a wine tasting next month, and I'm going to do Organic and Biodynamic wines. There are lots of wines to choose from, so I'm looking for some suggestions.

Are there any wines in the $15 - $30 range that you particularly like? Any type or varietal is fine, as long as it's really good. But I'm in Minnesota, so I probably can't find the more obsure stuff.

And yes, I read the thread discussing BD Pinot Noir and BD wines in general (I liked the poster who described BD as "Feng Shui for Grapes").



P.S. I found these helpful lists online, but there's way too much!

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  1. On biodynamic wines there are three main references:
    Nicolas Joly http://www.coulee-de-serrant.com/
    Nicolas Joly http://www.coulee-de-serrant.com/
    Nicolas Joly http://www.coulee-de-serrant.com/

    1. I've plugged this before but I'll plug it again: Gruner Veltliner from Weingut Hofer. In New York, anyway, it retails for between 9 and 10 bucks for a litre bottle. You'll be surprised by how much more "expensive" it tastes. Maybe it can be your budget wildcard for the evening. It's Austrian, bright, super-clean.

      6 Replies
      1. re: frenetica

        I am fond of the organic wines from Coturri. I especially recommend their Carignane, which sells for about $20.


        1. re: RichardA

          I agree - Coturri is completely natural - not only in the vineyards but in the cellar - many producers of "organic" and even BD use yeast additives, add acids, and chemicals like sulfites that take away flavors -

          Why grow organic and then process out all the goodness of the natural grapes?

          1. re: Omega

            As far as I know, you cannot properly make wine without adding some sulphites as a preservative... otherwise you end up with balsamic vinegar

            1. re: newJJD

              incorrect many wines are made without the ADDITION of sulfites. It, however, does not make them Sulfite free or organic.

              1. re: Winemark

                your right - wine has been made for eons without chemicals added

                1. re: Omega

                  I stand corrected, I'm not sure why I thought that

      2. If you can find any wines by Marc Kreydenweiss.... The Riesling is amazing. The 2003 Barbabelle is a good red.

        1. Might I ask what you notice if anything about biodynamic wines that differs from organic or for that matter non-organic? In taste and/or effect. Have been curious about biodynamism but only really reached it from a skincare point of view w/Dr. Hauschka and Weleda products. Had a biodynamic wine of some sort once.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Cinnamon

            I, too, am interested in whether anyone can taste a difference - that's the motivation for this tasting. I'm not sure I've had a BD wine yet.

            I'll post a report after the tasting, which is in mid-October, presuming I can find any biodynamic wines in this podunk place (as far as alcohol is concerned, we're kinda in hicksville).


            1. re: AnneInMpls

              Sounds like a fun tasting project. Enjoy!

              1. re: AnneInMpls

                There may be some pretty sophisticated palates out there, but I think tasting the difference is not so easy and not really the point of the whole thing anyway. Lots of the org. of biod. wines I've had actually have some real earthy flavors (read:funky dirty etc) in very lovely ways. The idea we have of organic products is often of cleanliness which can have a converse effect on wines. Wines that taste super clean are sometimes the product of lots of manipulation and intervention by winemakers. Hard to tell. I just like to support farmers and winemakers who are the best stewards of the earth.

            2. I a familiar with five California wineries that are organic and, I'm pretty sure, certified biodynamic.

              Frei Brothers
              Robert Sinskey
              Patianna (owned by Patti Fetzer)
              and, I think, Fetzer is also qualfied.

              Of those, only Patianna is relatively obscure, but then, we're in the backyard of all of them

              1. Only a few wines from Benziger are Biodynamic, actually more like Demeter and that wine is TRIBUTE

                3 Replies
                1. re: Winemark

                  They have a biodynamic lineup of all kinds of wine (white, red, and maybe port), just call and ask. I love the way they explain biodynamic farming, so take a look at their website. Maybe your friends would like the info at the tasting.


                  PS. They just added a video tour explaining biodynamic farming! I really enjoyed their wine tour, so take a look and see what you think.

                  Biodynamic or otherwise, Benziger makes some of the most consistently wonderful wines I've had from Sonoma. Of course, I'm talking about their reserve bottles which retail for $30+. Their $10-20 ones are just okay.

                  1. re: Pei

                    This must be a newer or only from the winery thing. I sold these wines at the wholesale level up until 1 1/2 years ago and they were only making Tribute bio dynamically. Even more interesting is the Demeter certification which goes well beyond Bio dynamic

                  2. re: Winemark

                    I believe all the wines from Sinskey are biodynamic. Member of their wine club. Outstanding pinots.

                  3. masut out of cali is biodynamic-- it's ceago's other line. they make a fantastic pinot.
                    brooks, from oregon
                    didier dagueneau (not really in the price range)
                    lolonis (cali)
                    lorca (cali) pinot gris is outrageously good.

                    1. porter creek, russian river valley. most of the wines are $25 and up, but they are delicious. i had a lovely syrah and viognier there.

                      1. Preston of Dry Creek is biodynamic. I haven't had a wine I didn't love from them.

                        1. Thanks for all the great recommendations! Please keep 'em coming - I have another three weeks to shop...


                          1. I can't believe that nobody has mentioned the superb organic wines made by Bonterra in California.

                            Likewise, don't forget that most of the M. Chapoutier wines from the Rhone are biodynamic.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: bogie

                              Bonterra is made of organicly grown grapes but is not organic wine. There is a fine line.

                              1. re: Winemark

                                I did not know that...now that I take a fresh look at their website, I realize that they do not discuss winemaking practices at all.

                                1. re: bogie

                                  If you look at the package it says made with organicly grown grapes. One of the problems is that retailers put it in the organic section of a lot of stores. To be totally organic your vineyards need to be certified (which Bonterra's are) and you can not hit the grapes with a bit of sulfur on the crush pad and many other things which are tough to follow when mass producing wines. From a consumers standpoint it is confusing.

                                  1. re: Winemark

                                    There are plenty of producers out there who meet and surpass the requirements used to certify who do not actually go through certification, an therefore can't label organic. There are real financial reasons why this may be a difficult process for some to go through. I still would consider these to be organic wines with out getting into word play, but that is up to each consumer.

                                    The sulfur issue is a confusing one. As fermentation goes along some sulfur compounds are created and can not be removed. Sulphur-dioxide is an anti-bacterial agent and can be added to wines that will be labeled "certified organic" as long as it does not exceed the limit the certifying board has chosen (a tiny ammt).

                                    1. re: redhookandrew

                                      Your points are primarily on point but it depends on which country you are making your wines in. Re: Sulfuring. As far as producers being organic without certifacation, sometime this cert. hurts sales. Like labeling a wine Kosher. People do not understand it

                            2. no idea about local availability for you, but here's a few from the Biodynamic French tasting at Astor Wines in NYC this year. I think if you spot anything from ANY of these wineries, it'd be worth a shot.

                              Fitou, La Grangette, Clos des Camuzeilles 2001 deeeelicious, $30 bottle

                              anything from Dom. des Deux Anes in the Corbieres -- they had several bottles from 2003 in the $10 -$15 range that were QUITE nice. There's a little cap accent on top of the A in Anes. It's two donkeys on the label...

                              St Chinian "Mas au Schiste"' Rimbert 2004, $15-ish

                              Fontedicto 2001 Coteaux du Languedoc "Promise" (might be more like $37)

                              one that I've seen around alot more...
                              Dom. des Sablonettes 2004 "Les Copains d'Abord"
                              I thought it was plonk, but plonk with a fun and freaky taste of black pepper.
                              go poivre!
                              It's a $10 bottle that would be fun at a tasting.

                              can't wait to read what you end up with . . .

                              1. I like to Fitzpatrick winery, the fact that they sell organic wines is an added bonus. Diana and Patrick are very helpful about educating people about organic wines. You might be able to get the wines shipped to you.


                                1. the heller estate wines produces a good wine that happens to be organic. this carmel valley winery has been certified 100% organic and make some good and interesting wines.


                                  1. I've had a Vicien Malbec from Argentina that my friends enjoyed. It's about $12 in New York shops but I've seen it on-line as well. The store owner told me it's organic, biodynamic, and unfiltered. For once, I didn't have a headache after drinking red wine.

                                    1. Thanks to everyone for all the help and advice!

                                      We've purchased the wines - we bought them all at one store, so we mostly went with their recommendations. (We wanted to focus on smaller and family wineries, and many of the ones recommended here are hard to find in the Twin Cities, alas.) We also had a budget, so we needed some cheap wines to balance the expensive ones.

                                      Here's what we got:
                                      - Albet i Noya Cava Brut (biodynamic)
                                      - Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio (organic)
                                      - Pares Balta Blanc de Paes (organic)
                                      - Les Heretiques Vin de l'Heraut (biodynamic?) - red
                                      - Yorkville Cellars Richard the Lion-Heart Red Blend (organic)
                                      - Chateau Pierre-Bise 1997 Coteaux du Layon Beaulieu (grapes organically grown)

                                      Now we just have to figure out a menu that works with these wines!


                                      P.S. I'll post a report after the tasting, in case anyone is interested in hearing about these wines.