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Biodynamic farming

The biodynamic vineyards

Biodynamics is an agronomic science. The name “biodynamic” comes from the crasis of two words: biological (organic) and dynamic agriculture. At La Raia we follow the biodynamic method, that is based on the continuous search for a balanced relationship between all of the farm’s living beings and the surrounding territory with its vital resources. We are aware  that monocolture is antithetic to biodynamics and that it is important to search for biodiversity above all: the care for vineyards, for example, requires that trees and plants are planted nearby and at La Raia we have always protected our woods, created orchards and gardens, cultivated fields and raised cows. 

The search for this harmony, that goes beyond the organic farming adopted by La Raia in 2002, stimulates and respects the natural production cycles, eliminates chemically synthesized fertilizers and promotes the interaction between the land and the natural and cosmic elements.  

The vineyards’ lines are grass covered because the biodynamic method enhances the land’s vitality, which is mandatory for the growth of roots that supply the plant with the nourishment it needs for producing healthy fruit. 

At La Raia we use two spray products: horn manure and horn silica, that affect the vegetable growth’s dynamic, improving the quality of our bunches and our crops. Both products are mixed up in water for one hour just before they are used:  this is called “dynamization”, a microbiology process where a water whirl absorbs oxygen and activates the microbial mass. La Raia, Demeter certified since 2007, is also an extraordinary model of biodiversity: vineyards, wheat and spelt fields, Fassone cows that graze free and chestnut and acacia trees foster the presence of animals and bees. 

Conventional vines Biodynamic vines
PRUNINGPRUNINGWhen the leaves have fallen, end of OctoberPRUNINGWhen the days start getting longer and during a descending moon. In this way we reinforce the vines and they loose less sap
WORKING THE LANDWORKING THE LANDNitrogen potassium and phosphorous produced chemically, used as artificial fertilizerWORKING THE LANDA green manure of grasses and legumes to help develop a deep structured soil with stable humus. Use of light tools that respect the soil and its micro organisms
TREATMENTSTREATMENTSSulphur, copper based systemical chemicals, anti-rotting chemicals, insecticidesTREATMENTSCopper in small doses, cave sulphur. Vines growing in healthy soil need less treatments and are less prone to illness
CLEARING BETWEEN THE VINESCLEARING BETWEEN THE VINESEither toxic weedkiller or a heavy tractor with a cultivator that damages the soilCLEARING BETWEEN THE VINESGrasses are left to grow and cut if necessary. Sheep graze the vineyards
CANOPY MANAGEMENTCANOPY MANAGEMENTFrequent trimming with a heavy tractor. Less vegetation is available for producing sugar in grapes. Fertilizer produces excess vegetationCANOPY MANAGEMENTVine is left to grow and its branches are tied to the trellis. The absence of artificial fertilizer and a more balanced plant result in less vegetative growth later in the season, hence no need to trim
BIODYNAMIC TREATMENTSBIODYNAMIC TREATMENTSBIODYNAMIC TREATMENTSSpray biodynamic preparations (horn manure and horn silica) which help the plant orientate itself between its poles: earth and sun