An important component of Avondale’s BioLOGIC® approach to viticulture is blending our practice of biodynamic farming with the latest technology and modern science. Biodynamic agriculture recognizes the farm as a self-sustaining, whole-system where the basic principles of life are respected and upheld. In that sense, biodynamic farming meets the highest organic standards. However, it also goes further by engaging purposefully and positively with the energy of place. At Avondale, we make use of the full spectrum of biodynamic preparations (see pdf download below for further details) which is similar to supporting healthy balance through homeopathy. The special preparations are both applied in the vineyards and transmitted all over our land through an innovative field broadcaster. I will be going into more detail about what these different preparations are and how to use them in future posts. We value biodynamic practices highly for the way that they allow us to tune into and interact with the unique energy of Avondale. While human knowledge still falls short of quantifying and qualifying all the intangible workings of energy, cutting-edge quantum science is at least now revealing what we know intuitively – that we do impact on energy, as it impacts on us. Biodynamic farming provides us with the practices that help us to achieve alignment with the soul of our land and to respond appropriately, and joyfully, to the rhythm of Nature. Like many other biodynamic practitioners around the world we can look to the quality of our produce as testimony that our sensitive and harmonious practices make a difference. Avondale’s Viognier blend, Cyclus is the wine that we chose to represent our unique cosmic connections. Cyclus’s emblem is the spiral which can be found in every aspect of Nature. Its expression in liquids is the vortex which is easily observed in the unexpected, creative whorls and eddies in flowing water. Nature uses the spinning, turbulent flow of the vortex to energise and revive fluids. Biodynamic farming mimics this powerful stimulating motion in the hand-stirring of preparations. The process of applying a biodynamic preparations starts with adding the specific BD preparation to pure water and then stirring in one direction to create an energising vortex for a minute; pausing, and stirring in the opposite direction – creating chaos that then finds the rhythm of another spiralling vortex. This creation of order, disorder and order is done for an hour so that the preparation is dynamised with the very rhythm of Nature. Modern, conventional farming has seriously disrupted the ancient cosmic bond between farmers and the land. Biodynamic practices are a highly effective way of sustaining a lively awareness of our special place in the cosmos.
As family man… Avondale is a family farm where we appreciate that the health and balance of our living system is inextricably linked to well-being of our families. As a father of two and a husband, as son and brother, my inspiration to achieve a robust, balanced vineyard ecosystem is to ensure that Avondale will support the lives of our future generations.
As artist… A passion for jazz and a love for all forms of art, especially woodwork and sculpture led me into four years of fine art studies – an eclectic education for a budding a farmer, for sure! However, I have found that in so many ways, the patterns, interconnections and openness of the artistic worldview have influenced my understanding of how living systems work.
As farmer… My interest in farming started early when I was a boy growing up on a small-holding outside of Durbanville. I planted and tended my own vegetables which I sold to family and friends. I hardly imagined at that time though that I would one day become a farmer. However, the theme of a healthy balanced life was embedded in our family’s outlook.