The Bryans take their bio-dynamic approach to every corner of the globe, and beyond, as Rob Bryans explains: “The lunar cycle determines when particular work practices can be carried out most effectively and this is influenced by Perigee (moon nearness) and Apogee (moon farness) and is dependent on the Zodiac constellations in which the moon is rising.

“At particular times within the moon/lunar cycle the plant’s development is directed more to leaf, flower, root and fruit/seed thus determining when pruning, picking, cultivation and midrow sowing is carried out.

“Descending and ascending phases of the moon (node days) are considered impractical for most farm and vineyard work in relation to plants and animals.

“We invest a lot more time in visual observation of the health and progress of our vines and bio-dynamic viticulture does tend to be more hands-on and labour intensive than conventional methods,” he said.

However, all this effort appears to be paying dividends with the Avonmore Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 winning gold at the 2003 Ballarat Wine Show, and the 2001 Shiraz and 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon both gaining bronze at the Victorian Wine Show.

Avonmore’s 2003 Sangiovese won silver in the Class 9 Red Wine Sangiovese at the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show held recently in Mildura. “No gold medals were given and we were the only silver of all wines entered from around Australia including conventionallymade wines,” Bryans said.

“When we show our wines to sommeliers, retailers and people who appreciate wines with distinctive styles we really gain their interest.

“We only produce red wines – it’s a case of wanting to stick with what we’re good at,” Bryans said.