The Vigneron says to the Vine, “show me how you flower.”

The Vine walks over and sits down next to Mars, they engage in a lively conversation.

“okay……” stated the Vigneron with disappointment.

“Well then, can you show me how you fill fruit?”

The Vine slides down the bar towards Jupiter, takes him by the hand and then they both spend the next several hours spinning around together in a romantic waltz.

Quite certain that the Vine hasn’t understood him, the Vigneron asked: “Please show me how you ripen your fruit.”

Without a moment lost the Vine finds Saturn and carries her over to a corner booth where they make sweet love, seemingly forever.

“And what are all these things that I have just experienced?” the perplexed Vigneron asks of the Vine.

“Why,” says the Vine with a smile, “you have just seen Mars and I create a spark. Jupiter and I then gave it some air. Lastly you felt Saturn and I stoke a raging fire.”

The Vigneron fell towards the bar, a puzzled look on his face.

“For you asked how these things occur, and I have shown you. We all need a little help from our friends.”



Once the giant leap of faith is taken and we can accept that there are processes and phenomena that occur behind the thin veil of sensory perception, a deeper and more nuanced way of working with nature can arise. No longer are growth phases of a plant merely abstract relics of some evolutionary past, but they are real-time manifestations of earthly and cosmic interactions. Living processes on the Earth relate in varying degrees to the influence of the planets and starry realm. This is most evident in the plant and its transition away from vegetative growth, through flowering, fruiting and finally contracting into the seed. These reproductive phases are the culmination of the plants’ life cycle and are strongly influenced by the planets that orbit beyond the Sun. Namely Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

There are three stages of grapevine growth where the greatest impact on final wine quality can be made. Flowering. Fruiting. Ripening.

There are cultural management practices that can influence fruit development at these three growth phases. Leaf plucking around the flowering cluster – creates carbohydrate deficiency, induces shatter, optimises cluster architecture. Then allowing laterals to grow from around the flower cluster during fruit fill – induces temporary carbohydrate deficiency, limits berry cell division and expansion – decreases juice to skin ratio. Quantity.

Furthermore, there are three planets which oversee these three growth phases. Mars oversees the flowering process. Jupiter oversees the fruiting process. Saturn oversees the ripening process. There are also three biodynamic preparations which work with each of these three planets. BD507 Valerian works Mars. BD506 Dandelion works with Jupiter. BD508 Casuarina works with Saturn. Spraying these preparations out at the corresponding growth phases, and ideally when the relevant planet sits opposite the Moon, enhances the quality of the flowering, fruiting and ripening processes.

And here we arrive at an important point regarding biodynamics and its usefulness for agriculture. Whilst nutrition and cultural practices can definitely have an effect on plant quality – however this is purely dependent on the skill, inputs and wisdom of the vigneron – their main function is the changing to the quantity of plant substances i.e. concentrating or altering ratios of substances within the plant. On the other hand, the biodynamic preparations and timings are purely focussed on enhancing the qualitative aspect of plant substances and processes. Not all plant substances are created equal. And not all plant processes fully occur to the same extent. For the highest quality substances to form and for processes to unfold to the highest degree, a blueprint originating in the distant cosmos needs to incarnate fully within the plant. These blueprints, originating in the starry realm, enter our solar system as information packets hitching a ride on electromagnetic waves. They are then concentrated or fine-tuned by the outer planets; Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Using the biodynamic preparations at the appropriate time draws in these cosmic forces via the outer planets more closely to the plant. Plants are none other than natures foremost chemists. Once they have the architectural plans and a few building blocks they are able to effectively create the necessary substances i.e. all the compounds which result in delicious wine.

We will be trialling the following approach in the vineyard over the next several years. The beauty of growing wine is the work undertaken in the vineyard is clear and evident throughout the subsequent year, when the wine is drunk.

  • Once flowering starts spray out BD507 Valerian, ideally at Moon opposition Mars.
  • Right before, or at the very initial stages of flowering, remove leaves opposite and subtending the flower cluster. If weather is persistently wet and cool, leaf removal can be postponed until after flowering – shatter will occur naturally in these weather conditions. Shatter opens up the grape cluster.
  • At the early stages of fruit fill spray out BD506 Dandelion, ideally at Moon opposition Jupiter.
  • Lateral shoots will have started to grow from the area where leaves where removed, allow these to continue growing during fruit fill – energy being put into lateral growth limits energy available for berry cell division and expansion. Concentrates the berry.
  • Around the time of veraison, spray out BD508 Casuarina. Ideally at Moon opposition Saturn.
  • Vegetative growth should ideally cease at this time. Allowing cover crops to compete for soil water and nutrients and limiting nitrogen fertiliser prior to veraison can help halt vegetative growth and allow the vine to focus of ripening the fruit. Combining atmospheric sprays (i.e. BD501, 506, 507, 508 and Summer Horn Clay) can also slow down, and hopefully cease vegetative growth.

Making wine in the vineyard: wo/man, vine and planets.


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Jackie & Elliott Paradoxa


First generation farmers who believe that soil health & nutrition is not only important but also very cool. Our minimalist philosophy carries from our feet on the earth, through our hearts and to our vines.

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