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Bio-dynamic approach reaps rich rewards

The success of bio-dynamic winery Avonmore Estate reflects its focus on the integrity of its wine, as well as its commitment to strict bio-dynamic practices and principles.

Rob and Pauline Bryans planted the first Shiraz grapes at Avonmore Estate, north of Bendigo in 1996, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese and Viognier. The wines now cover 10 hectares.

“We’ve been certified Grade A biodynamic for more than 17 years. It’s not niche marketing but farming practices and principles that result in better wine as well as being better for the environment,” Rob says.

The entire farm is certified by the Bio-dynamic Research Institute, Victoria. Vines grow without artificial pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or chemicals. Cover crops of legumes and cereals provide green manuring, enriched with the biodynamic-prepared ‘500’ consisting of composted cow manure and five biodynamic composted preperations on which the Steiner principles.

The Bryans have an established following of product-aware consumers. Markets are established in Canada and Thailand, with plans for Scandinavia in the near future. “Funding from Regional Development Victoria to establish the website has helped gain export orders, “Rob says.

Avonmore recently won the Best Red Wines award for their 2001 Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon at the South World Wide Society Awards in Vancouver, alongside wine from other countries. “Our wines have done very well in wine shows with conventionally produced wine, which is even more satisfying.

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