The influence of the moon, planets, cow horns and terracotta amphorae

Vanya Cullen, 59, chief winemaker, Cullen Wines, answering some questions in the wine issue of The Weekend Australian's Magazine:

To flesh out what these answers actually mean, the Owl turned to the biodynamics page on the Cullen Wines website.

Under the heading Rhythms of the Cosmos:
  • Moon rhythms strongly influence life on earth life. As tides rise and fall in a pulsing rhythm, so does the sap of plants and all other liquids including those within the earth’s mantle. Viticultural practices are conducted according to these moon rhythms.
  • The position of the moon in relation to the planets is also critical. The time of great anticipation is the 48 hours leading up to when the moon (whose forces bring in calcium processes) and Saturn (whose forces bring in silica processes) are in opposition – the optimal time to plant.

And explaining cow horns and Biodynamic preparations:
  • Cow horns filled with cow manure (500) – helps the soil develop humus, attracts earthworms and micro organisms. The cow manure that is placed in female cow horns is buried underground over winter. The spray produced from 500 is applied to the soil in the vineyard three times during the year when either the moon is in opposition to Saturn or is descending. This spray, which is sometimes combined with fish emulsion and seaweed, invigorates the soil.
  • Cow horns filled with quartz crystals (501) – aids photosynthesis and the uptake of minerals in the soil. The good quality quartz crystals are placed in cow horns and buried underground during spring and dug up in autumn. 501 is applied to the foliage three times a year or when needed. Very occasionally, it is necessary to spray the leaves of the vines with a copper solution.
Which brings us to the terracotta amphorae as explained when James Halliday included a Cullen wine in his top 100:

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