The Original Letter

My Original Letter To The Editor, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, April 17, 2009

Unproved science

EDITOR: I recently viewed the “Benziger biodynamics” wine video on your Web site. There is Mike Benziger of Benziger Winery spinning biodynamics as an “ancient peasant custom  that heals the earth and makes better wine.” What poppycock. Biodynamics being based on “a spiritual science” appears to be entirely based on a faith preached by Rudolf Steiner and is more religion or wacky cult than bona-fide scientific farming discipline.

People today make all sorts of assertions with little or no connection to the truth, and biodynamics is no different. Show me the scientific experiments that prove biodynamic soils and vines are healthier and biodynamic wines are better. If these folks can prove their assertions, then I’m sure many of us would consider converting to biodynamics. Unfortunately, the supporters of biodynamics cannot provide scientific studies proving the efficacy of biodynamics, because none exists.

I don’t know whether the Benziger winery crowd are true believers, charlatans or savvy marketers to the gullible, but in my opinion, biodynamics is a hoax and deserves the same level of respect we give to witchcraft. On Earth Day or another day, animal sacrifices (a biodynamic farming practice) should not be an acceptable practice of modern day agriculture or our society.


Smith-Madrone Winery

St. Helena


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