Fabrice Gasnier in Chinon
When we last saw Fabrice Gasnier at his beautiful home in Cravant-les-Coteaux, he had just completed a five-year transformation of his 24-hectare estate to biodynamics; the agricultural discipline based on a series of lectures by Rudolph Steiner titled The Spiritual Foundation for the Renewal of Agriculture. Steiner was an Austrian philosopher active in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who is best known today as the founder of the Waldorf Schools.
It would be easy to describe biodynamics as something like “Organic Plus,” but more than simple labor-intensive organic farming, biodynamics includes a strong belief in interdependence among the “forces” of Earth, Life, and Cosmos. “In the past,” Fabrice says, “we would have sprayed fungicide in the vineyard whenever we had cold, wet weather.”
Scooping up a handful of clay-calcareous soil he smiles and says, “But I don't think that way anymore. Now when I see mildew in the vines, I see it as a sign that something is out of balance, and I treat it homeopathically.” He shrugged. “I don’t know how it works, but the wines have more perfect fruit-purity than ever before.”