Questions and answers concerning our background
respekt-BIODYN is an association that includes 22 wineries from Austria, Germany, Italy and Hungary. The association is based in Austria. respekt-BIODYN means people who have committed themselves to the goal of producing wines of the highest quality using biodynamic methods.
With the inclusion of German VDP winemakers Clemens Busch, Steffen Christmann, Hansjörg Rebholz, Franz Wehrheim and Philipp Wittmann, respekt-BIODYN has established itself alongside Demeter and Biodyvin as another important force in biodynamic viticulture.
With the greatest possible respect for the elements of earth, water, air, light and fire, as well as the “kingdom of nature’s” soil, plants, animals and people. By safeguarding personal and professional independence and sovereignty to the utmost.
At the same time we think about our children, our descendants and nature. We create secure livelihoods based on healthy living and working conditions, and treat our employees responsibly.
We respect and care for soil, plants, animals and the relationships with our partners and customers. respekt-BIODYN is thus ecologically, economically and socially sustainably augmented by the ideas and methods of biodynamic agriculture.
respekt-wines are lively stylistics with moderate vintage-typical alcohol, presenting a complex body and a well-integrated acidity. They stand out with their aging potential and their intensive regional character. They are authentic and individual.
By the respekt logo on the label. It can be found only on wines that have been certified in accordance with the respekt guidelines. These wines are guaranteed biodynamically produced and meet our high quality standards.
On one hand, because we impose on ourselves many more and stricter rules than those required by organic farming. On the other hand, because we combine our expertise as vintners with the ideas and methods of biodynamics (= environmental sustainability). And last but not least, because in our work we do not limit ourselves to thinking about the wine, but also include our families, employees, partners and customers in our thinking (= economic and social sustainability).
First and foremost under their own strict rules, which were adopted in 2007. The basis for these are local and national laws, as well as EU regulations (EU-Bio-Regulation (EG) 834/2007 for ecological/biological production and labeling of organic/biological products).
Our work is based on a contemporary synthesis of the ideas of Rudolf Steiner with modern agroecology and practical experience in the field of biodynamics in recent decades.
respekt-BIODYN cannot do without certain modern techniques and tools. No one can expect us to work without tractors and pneumatic vine shears. But where it is possible and sensible, we try to get by with moderation and common sense, and the gentlest and most sustainable means in each case.
Simply put: "only grow what suits the location". In other words, considering in particular the local and regional conditions, paying attention to the soil and microclimate, and planting no exotic varieties, but always the "right" indigenous variety in the right place. This applies not only to the vines, but of course to all the other plants that create and maintain biodiversity in our vineyards.
It promotes itself. We employ the natural helpers of agriculture: worms, ants, bees, butterflies, bioorganisms and so on. We encourage their proliferation and their population by putting up nesting boxes and “useful animal” hotels, sowing flowering plants, and the care and planting of slopes and trees.
To build up humus for the revitalizing of the soil, we focus on the "four pillars": gentle soil care, appropriate landscaping, ground spraying with nettle tea and horn manure preparations, and the application of compost.
Through careful pruning and manual foliage management, complemented by biodynamic treatments in accord with the phases of the moon and the prevailing weather. Teas and extracts of biological origin are used to increase the immune response of the plants.
The horn manure and horn silica field spray preparations. The nettle, chamomile, yarrow, dandelion, oak bark and valerian compost preparations. They have balancing and cleansing effects. The field spray preparations are stimulated manually before application: intensely stirred in water, so that this becomes a carrier of information.
Nettle, horsetail, chamomile, birch, yarrow, compost - as hot, warm or cold extracts or simply scattered.
When biodiversity and soil fertility are optimal, pests and diseases should not appear. Should problems occur due to extreme weather or other influences and circumstances, natural agents such as baking powder, clay, vegetable extracts, oils and pheromones, as well as small doses of sulfur and copper are employed.
As little as possible, and not more than half as much as allowed in organic viticulture. Whereby we try to minimize copper even more. In practice, on average we manage with 0.16 grams of copper per m² per year.
All wines produced according to respekt guidelines are spontaneously fermented. For dry white and rosé wines, however, the addition of pure-bred yeast sourced onsite is permitted if a stuck fermentation occurs. This is only to enable a reliable and clean final fermentation, and only in the case of documented fermentation problems, which may occur due to conditions related to the vintage and varietal.
Against them! Anything that has to do with genetic engineering, we reject without exception.
Each member has the right to propose new members. If accepted, his "induction phase" begins: if the new member already works biodynamically, the transition period lasts for two years.
For operations that are converting from organic handling, it takes three years. At this stage, seven parallel integrated programs are implemented and documented: locally appropriate production, biodiversity, soil fertility, plant care, animal life, dealing with accompanying growth, pests and diseases, and general farming measures.
Together we can achieve more. Therefore, like-minded people have joined the respekt-BIODYN group to learn from each other, and to mutually educate and support each other. respekt-BIODYN is not a branding community, but a community of interests, which is supported and inspired by the ideas of Rudolf Steiner while at the same time acting independently and confidently in theory and practice. Moreover, respekt-BIODYN seeks an open, friendly and professional technical dialogue with like-minded people.
The first steps were taken in 2005, and the association was founded in 2007. The first respekt vintage was 2009, and the "official launch" took place with a press event at VieVinum in June, 2012.
The respekt wineries currently manage a total of more than 600 hectares of vineyards. respekt-BIODYN, with 550 hectares holds about 10% of the total organic vineyards of Austria. 100 hectares are located in Germany, 50 are found in South Tyrol/Italy, and 28 hectares in Hungary. Each individual respekt vineyard enjoys an excellent reputation in its home country and in many international markets.
respekt-BIODYN is a biodynamic certification purely tailored to viticulture. By virtue of their profession, the respekt members understand more about wine and winemaking than almost anyone else. We also restrict ourselves to this.