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What is Biodynamic Wine?: The Quality, the Taste, the Terroir [Paperback]

Nicholas Joly
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

24 May 2007
Nicolas Joly is responsible for producing some of the finest and most highly esteemed wines of France at his Coulee de Serrant vineyard. Practising the biodynamic method of agriculture - sometimes referred to as 'premium organic' - he is at the forefront of a movement to return to the concept of terroir, as full expression and embodiment of a particular grape-growing locality, or appelation. Today even expensive wines, made under strictly regulated controls and standards, are tainted by the use of pesticides and fertilizers, and manipulated in the cellar through the use of osmosis and the additions of aromatic yeasts and enzymes. To counter such trends, a new 'Charter of Quality', run by organic and biodynamic viticulturists, guarantees that the appelation comes to full, authentic expression. To aid this process, biodynamic winegrowers like Joly use special planting methods and preparations that enhance and invigorate the soil, bringing it into harmony with the forces of sun, moon and cosmos to embed the vine in a rich, living context.

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What is Biodynamic Wine?: The Quality, the Taste, the Terroir + Authentic Wine: Toward Natural and Sustainable Winemaking + Understanding Wine Technology - The Science of Wine Explained
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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Clairview Books (24 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905570090
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905570096
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 566,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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'Nicolas Joly is right: he is not a winemaker. He is a thinker, a talker and an idealist, with a captivating passion for his work. His wine is simply the end result of a much greater process.' - DECANTER 'Under Joly's biodynamic care, this historic vineyard produces one of the most distinctive and expressive wines of the Loire.' - WINE AND SPIRIT 'The quartet of his 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997 vintages may have been the greatest white wine produced in France. The incredible splendour of the bodies of these wines sends all the other famous vintages back to school. The originality of the perfumes is absolute.' - REVUE DES VIN DE FRANCE 'Coulee de Serrant ... among the most distinctive wines today...' - WINE SPECTATOR

About the Author

NICOLAS JOLY, born in 1945, has been working with biodynamics for over 25 years, and is widely recognized as one of France's foremost winemakers. Following his studies at Columbia University, he joined JP Morgan in New York. He was posted to London, but left in 1977 to run his family's vineyard, Coulee de Serrant. Having worked with modern agriculture and observed its negative effects on nature, he came across a book on biodynamic farming and began experimenting, fascinated by the ideas he found there. Later, he discovered and connected with a movement based on the work of the founder of biodynamics, Rudolf Steiner. He faced much opposition until the end of the 1990s, when the quality of his wines, with their unique and authentic appellations, spoke for themselves. Nicholas Joly now teaches around the world as one of the pioneers of biodynamic viticulture.

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok to try but to many "Buts" 12 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First of all, to all interested in this book consider not buying it and buying instead the other one by the same author: "Biodynamic Wine, Demystified", also avalaible at Amazon.I was told to buy the tw together, but, although it has a different name, it is a second edition of the book with 90% the same text and some additions in chapters 3 and 4, appendix and a new foreword. I made the mistake of buying both of them and therefore finding myself []$ out of pocket and feeling duped afterwards.

I bought the book because I was curious about byodinamics into wine but being familiar with byodinamics, it is not that I am a supporter or have deep knowledge on the subject but just I know in general terms what is about.

In general I found it an interesting book to read and think about but to start with, I mean chapter one, I found it to be a bit-of-too-much of an archaetypical vision of science opposed to nature as if they weren't compatible or even the same, mixed with a very deep pesimistic vision about what technology has brought to us compared to how things were in the 'Old times' where things seemed to be, according to the author, like paradise on Earth. If you mix that with the fact that he purposely uses a 'story' style to explain things and, with a mixture of basic science and common places, tries to explain why and how things work, the start cannot be worse or more deceptive. Added to this, in chapter one, more space is given to the nettle than to the vine -even though the chapter has to do with the Appellation de Origin Controlé (AOC)- and so the picture is complete.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Luis
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read a fair amount about Steiner and the biodynamic movement I was looking forward to reading this book. Joly's book lacks detail, scientific evidence and direction. It is very dissaponting.

There are many examples in the book. The explanation (lack of) of the cows horn buried in the ground is astonishingly ridiculous. I can understand how decaying dung and nettle can benefit the soil, yet the explanation of why a cows horn and not other animal is absurd and laughable.

The same goes for the rest of the book, it jumps from misconception to misconception. I would recommend Joly to a good read of Darwin or any of his contemporaries on plant history and evolution.

Overall, if you like conspiracy theories with no bearing to reality please read this. If on the contrary you are interested on biodynamics i suggest you purchase a different book.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best introductions to biodynamics 10 Mar 2008
By Jammie
Joly is a great wine-maker. His Coulee de Serrant is splendid. But, he uses the 'hocus-pocus' of biodynamic viticulture... Here, he presents the science and art of biodynamics with clarity as well as poetry - as, perhaps, only a Frenchman could... A good and enlightening read.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, but not the easiest read 11 Feb 2014
By Music Lover - Published on Amazon.com
While traveling the Loire valley last year, I stopped at La Coulee de Serrant quite by chance. I had no idea who Nicolas Joly was nor how prestigious the winery was; I just happened to drive past and tried the (quite exceptional) wine. After paging through the books in the wine cellar, I was intrigued by the few pages that I read while browsing and decided to rather buy the book than a bottle (I was on a budget :)

I found the book very informative, interesting and quite mind-expanding. The book does not go into too many details - a complete bibliography is provided for those wishing to delve deeper into the subject - but is more aimed at providing a basic understanding of BioDynamics and how/why wines produced this way are different from current commercial farming methods. His views could be considered a bit 'esoteric', but as he explains, a lot of modern science is based on things that are not fully understood, only harnessed.

The only reason for not giving it 5 stars is that I feel it was a tad difficult to read. It is a complex subject and, in my opinion, could have been presented a little easier. It reads like a book translated from another language (which it is), which may be more of a comment on the translation than the writing.

All-in-all, very thought-provoking and it has certainly piqued my interest on the subject.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift for any wine lover 21 May 2013
By psichedout - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great introduction to how effective Biodynamics can be for wine growers...Now if we can only make the leap and apply it to all crops we would have taken a great step towards a healthier world. The wine business is BIG business and they understand how effective and cost effective Biodynamix is!
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