Merlot - Biodynamic Wines
Biodynamic wines are organic wines made following the lunar calendar and the naturalistic beliefs of Rudolf Steiner.
It is a holistic concept - looking at the whole ecosystem through cycles and energy. The goal is to enhance the natural life-flow cycles of the vine and especially its immune system. Memorable processes in biodynamic vinetending include using cow horns to hold the silica which will be buried in the soil and applying specific herbal sprays on precise days.
There is a dose of non scientific magical thinking in biodynamic processes. But as one of my winemakers put it "it doesn't make sense and I feel silly doing some of it, but my vines look healthier"
Merlot, although often used as a grape for blending (often with Cabernet Sauvignon), is a grape that produces some excellent single variety wine. It can be glorious on its own as seen in some of the wines from Pomerol and St. Emillion and this glory can be found in other expressions of the grape throughout the world.
A few places in Italy grow Merlot for this purpose and there are also excellent Merlots created in Valais and Thermenregion in Switzerland, but in that country it is to Ticino that we turn to find some wonderful single variety Merlot wines.
Ticino is of course right next to Italy and that is the language predominantly spoken there. Here they make Merlot into both red and white wine. Unlike the majority of ‘White Merlot’ this really is a white wine and not a rosé.
There seems no doubt that Merlot originated in France but it has spread throughout the world and can be found in most winemaking countries.
Following much DNA analysis and some archaeological searching worthy of a Dan Brown novel, it has now been established that Merlot is the offspring of Cabernet Franc and Magdeleine Noire des Charentes. It has other well-known siblings – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cot and the grape that was so often confused with Merlot, Carmenère.
Grain Noir Marie-Therese ChappazCabernet and Merlot in Alpine purity