England’s first organic wine producer Roy Cook, owner and wine maker at Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard, has made the conscientious decision to take his winery to the next level of sustainability by adopting the biodynamic cultivation method and philosophy. Through the introduction of additional procedures above and beyond the normal organic rules, Cook has become the first producer of biodynamic wines in England’s history.
“For me, the challenge of creating high quality wines within a balanced and diverse ecology has always been my objective; the long term sustainability and more carbon neutral approach offered by introducing biodynamics seems a natural progression to this goal.” — Roy Cook.
Sedlescombe has applied certain measures to increase microbial activity, either to the soil directly or via specially prepared compost, in order to make its wine more eco-friendly. Special quartz based sprays are also applied to increase light absorption and enhance grape sugar levels.
For those who may not be familiar with the concept of biodynamic viticulture, one of the key (and somewhat controversial) aspects to the biodynamic method is the timing of spraying, pruning and planting activities, which follow a calendar based on lunar and cosmic movements.
Many people criticize this dedication to solar alignment, arguing the impossibility of meeting such strict time requirements. But Roy Cook however, is not fazed by the timing demands: “Some of the most prestigious organic vineyards on the planet are biodynamic – from Frick in France to Milton in New Zealand and every wine producing country in between – I am convinced the method works and am proud to be the first to produce biodynamic wines in England.”
So regardless of where one stands on the topic of biodynamics, most can agree that this winery is doing something extremely positive for the wine industry and the sustainability movement, which means it deserves mad props! Cheers to drinking green!