Lunar Organic the next craze?
Try to imagine a long line. At one end is full-on, industrial wine making with fertilisers, fungicides and satellite images of carbon dioxide uptake rates. Yes, that’s right, the €5.99 slush on offer in the supermarket and kind of tastes like the wine you had last week. As you move along you find those who commit themselves to using fewer pesticides and so on. That’s usually called the “reasoned struggle” in France, or integrated pest control management (IPM) in the New World. A little further down the line is organic wine making – certified, regulated and approved, and a bit knit-your-own-yoghurt. And finally we reach the wonderful, whacky world of ‘lunar-organic’ wine making.
‘It’s a way of cultivating grapes that follows the code of practice of organic agriculture and also takes into account the phases of the moon’. As the ascending moon rises, the sap is drawn up through the soil. Similarly no ploughing, hoeing or earthing up occurs during the waning moon for fear of disturbing the soil. Vine treatments (organic or course) must be applied just before the full moon and new moon. All this is combined with ‘ancestral savoir-faire’ and some homoeopathic sprays to ensure the vines make the best grapes they can.
And here’s the rub. Scientifically a lot of this appears to be nonsense. Empirically a lot of it is very hard to test. But as with so many wines made like this, or using full blown bio-dynamics, the Moillard wines are very good, individual and distinctive. And science does at least agree that vineyard soil in places like Moillard are hotbeds of biodiversity and microbial life.
Recently Frank at Robert Francis Wine tasted the Moillard Pinot Noir of the Domaine du Chateau d’Eau range (see video), which are all lunar organic, scoring a very respectable 88/100. Can’t be bad to that for under a tenner on special.