Biodynamics is Voodoo... Or Not? The Wine World's Hottest Debate Caught on a Videoblog by NYC's Counter Restaurant of Mr. Biodynamic Himself, Winemaker Nicolas Joly

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Despite being trendy, biodynamics is actually a time-honored organic approach to winemaking that respects the entire ecosystem of the planet. Counter Vegetarian Restaurant has just released a videoblog they shot of a recent masterclass in biodynamics held by the founder of the modern biodynamic movement, French winemaker Nicolas Joly of La Coulee de Serrant.

Biodynamics is an ongoing hot-button debate in the wine world - with no middle ground. Proponents like Bonny Doon's iconoclastic Randall Grahm, and Zind Humbrecht of Alsace argue passionately in favor of this system of organic winemaking, while others are more circumspect.

To spread the gospel of biodynamics, the founder of the modern biodynamic movement, France's Nicolas Joly, started "Return to Terroir/Renaissance des Appellations" in 2001. Biodynamic winemakers not only eschew chemical pesticides, but utilize homeopathic tinctures to supplement the nutritional needs of the vines, and plant & harvest in accordance with the cycles of the moon. "Biodynamics is about making wines the way we should be living our lives," explains Deborah Gavito, owner of Counter Vegetarian Restaurant and Organic Wine & Martini bar in downtown New York - who shot the Joly videoblog. "The vines react the same way children do to how we raise them: if you scold a child, they're going to shrivel up, while if you nourish them and give them love, they're going to blossom."

Biodynamics is also based on the notion that different materials contain different properties, all of which can benefit the vines in different ways:

  • pig manure is derived from animals low to the ground which feed on roots & other low-growing plants
  • cows can feed from higher-growth sources such as grass
  • horse manure is the by-product of an animal which can even stand on its hind legs, reaching leaves and apples

"If a vine needs the property of minerality, the winemaker uses manure from pig, while for strength and growth, it's cow or horse manure," explains Gavito. "These winemakers listen to their plants and feed them whatever properties they need. Although biodynamics is in tune with the cosmos and it's very intuitive, it can also be explained scientifically. It isn't voodoo."

To hear Joly in his own words - passionate, articulate & entertaining - visit:

Counter NYC Nicolas Joly Videoblog

About Counter Restaurant --
Located at 105 First Avenue (between 6th & 7th Streets 212.982.5870) in downtown New York's funky East Village, Counter specializes in French-Mediterranean vegetarian dishes -- beautifully presented -- served a chic, upbeat atmosphere. The only organic wine and martini bar of its kind in New York City, Counter’s customers can choose from over 150 organic and biodynamic wines, and a variety of house infused organic martinis and cocktails.

Not only about the food, Counter is also dedicated to promoting sustainability, supporting small local organic farmers, and artisanal winemakers who eschew pesticides and practice earth-friendly viticulture. Check out the Counter blog -- -- for more on wine, food, sustainability and a series of innovative videoblogs on preparing & plating food, mixing up cocktails & insiders chats with organic & biodynamic winemakers.


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