I just read about the Summerhill Pyramid Winery in British Columbia, the first organic and bio-dynamic certified winery in BC.
Bio-dynamic. That’s an impressive word. I was captivated by it, as I often am by words I don’t really understand and want to toss around in conversations. However, as I’ve been known to use words incorrectly, I looked it up first.
According to Wikipedia, bio-dynamics is a method of organic farming that emphasizes the holistic development and interrelationships of the soil, plants and animals as a self-sustaining system. This means that I’d sound ignorant if I walked out of my yoga class and declared that I felt bio-dynamic, unless I was also coated in dirt and chicken poop.
But here’s the part of the article that really got my attention. Evidently one bio-dynamic technique this winery uses involves using rainwater mixed with the manure of a lactating cow that was harvested during a full moon, stuffed inside a cow horn and buried under the ground for around a year. Then it was dug up during certain astrological conditions. I’m fuzzy on the details, but I’m pretty sure that Uranus was in opposition to something.
I am not making this up. In fact, if you want to see cutting edge wine technology in action, click this link: dude digging up poo-stuffed cow horns.
This process produces a biologically-active fertilizer, which is then sprayed on the vines in order to suppress and resist mildew and fungal diseases, as well as enhance nutrients flowing to the roots. The fact that the cow is lactating makes all the difference. The manure of single cows who’ve decided to adopt is not desirable here. We’re not making a judgment on their lifestyle choices, just their manure.
I’m kicking myself because when I was lactating I flushed biologically-active fertilizer down our commode on a daily basis. I could have had my own vineyard and supplied myself with bottles of bio-dynamic stress reliever, plus made a boat load of cash! Then again, considering that I didn’t even brush my hair or apply body lotion the whole first year of my daughter’s life, maybe running a vineyard would have been aiming a little high.
They’re still calling this wine vegan-friendly because the animal byproducts never actually touch the wine. Though they do ferment herbs in stag bladders and cow intestines, but these things only touch the soil, which is a shame because if I’d gone to the trouble of fermenting some herbs in a stag’s bladder, I’d want to sprinkle it over some pasta or something. They do not use any fish bladders, gelatin, egg whites, milk, or milk byproducts in their winemaking, which is (attention my drunk, vegan friends) evidently a common practice among winemakers.
If you’d like to see the winemakers dig up some stag’s bladders, animal skulls stuffed with what looks like supernatural ectoplasm and other nifty items not found at your local butcher, click on this link dude digging up weird animal parts. You’re going to want a big old glass of grappa when you’re done watching it. Nothing goes with ectoplasm like a Riesling.
But wait, there’s more!
Did I mention that this winery has a genuine pyramid? Yessiree. But don’t expect a bunch of slot machines inside. According to the proprietor, Stephen Cipes, “the knowingness of eternity awaits us in this sacred chamber.” You can’t get knowingness at the Luxor.
As I understand it, the theory is that humans are mostly liquid, especially when they’re pumped full of wine, so when they enter the sacred chamber, it’s an opportunity to “clarify their own inner selves”. Like butter. The chamber helps them get to the “knowingness of who they are,” which may be just a bunch of cow turd-loving winos, but y’all know I don’t judge.
The chamber “enhances our receptiveness, opening the left and right sides of our brains, much like the dolphins, whales, and elephants” which are apparently all new age animals and “in touch with the all-one ‘soul of the world,'” even though you almost never see a dolphin getting a palm reading.
Awe. Some. I love hippies. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m ready to climb into that pyramid with a bottle of bio-dynamic wine and some elephants and just get wrecked on clarity.