Sophie, Maxime, and Geneviève Barmès in the Clos Sand (photo: Greg Moore)
The late François Barmès wholeheartedly embraced the Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner’s belief in the interdependence of the forces of life, earth, and the cosmos. So in 1995, in order to undo the damage caused by decades of chemically dependent viticulture, he began the transformation of his vineyards to biodynamics.
One of the first principles of biodynamics is the belief that the farm is a self-contained living entity, which gives rise to the rule that a biodynamic farmer may add no organic substance to a product of his farm; if that organic substance did not itself grow within the boundaries of the same biodynamic farm.
Which means that the “Champagne Method” isn’t an option in producing biodynamic sparkling wine, because it requires the addition of sugar to a tank of dry wine just before bottling (needless to say, beets and sugar cane don’t grow on the chalk soils of Champagne, or pink sandstone