To respect the land and achieve the highest quality wine, Steve Beckmen began farming Purisima Mountain Vineyard 100 percent biodynamically in 2006. This commitment represented the culmination of a long process of experimentation to evaluate the benefits of biodynamic farming, its effect on the vineyard, and its elevation of wine quality.
Based on the pioneering 1920s work of scientist Rudolf Steiner, biodynamic farming offers a proactive and holistic approach to farming. By treating vineyards as complete and self-replenishing systems, biodynamic farming naturally builds soil life and vitality, while defending against pests and disease. Often confused with both organic and sustainable farming practices, biodynamic farming meets the criteria of both, while focusing on a unique set of eight naturally derived non-chemical soil and plant treatments.
Beckmen Vineyards is not alone in embracing this method. Other world-renowned practitioners of biodynamic farming include Lalou Bize-Leroy in Burgundy, Nicolas Joly in the Loire Valley and the Chapoutier family in the Rhone Valley. Representing some of the best of their regions, many of these wineries have been utilizing biodynamic farming for decades with remarkable results.
Because consistency and quality are so important, Beckmen carefully tested these methods before committing the whole vineyard. The results were impressive. When farmed biodynamically, the vines grew straight up and the leaves were rich in color and healthy. In addition, the soil retained more moisture and there was an increase in sugar and tannin quality. Building on these exceptional results, 2006 marked the transition from a grand experiment to a fully dedicated program of biodynamic farming at Purisima Mountain Vineyard.
"Our goal," says Steve, "is to always get better and better. Biodynamics allows us to achieve the purest possible expression of our Purisima Mountain Vineyard terroir, which is at the very heart of our winegrowing philosophy. Since we've gone biodynamic, we have produced some of our best wines ever."
Beckmen Vineyards completed the rigorous biodynamic certification process in 2008.