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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
8 Nov 2010

Master of Wine Beverley Blanning (pictured) has just written a usefully fresh and reasonably objective booklet Biodynamics in Wine, published as part of a series of very varied booklets by the International Wine & Food Society.

Its 64 A5 pages are not illustrated but are attractively designed, competently indexed, and impeccably edited by our very own Julia Harding MW.

It includes details of all the major preparations - horn manure, horn silica, yarrow, chamomile, nettle, oak bark, dandelion, valerian and horse tail - summaries of the arguments for and against, sources of more information, and many quotes from practitioners. Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon in California: 'In two or three years we turned a corner. Sometimes the vines look worse before they look better.' Christophe Erhart of Josmeyer in Alsace: 'If you convert right away [from conventional methods], it's like making a heroin junkie live on carrot juice from one day to the next.' James Millton of New Zealand warns that it takes 'more than seven years to get a really significant result'.

This is just a tiny taste of a particularly appetising and well-written aperitif. You can order the book via or download an order form from the About IWFS/Publications section of the organisation's website. It costs £7.50, including packaging and postage to a UK address. International rates can be supplied.