Tasting by the time of the month

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avondale website screenshot . In the past fortnight, Avondale has tested this biodynamic calendar.

A theory developed in the 1950s that the taste of wine differed according to the time of the month in which it was consumed.

This lunar calendar cites four cycles – fruit, root, flower and leaf – and predicts that the fruit and flower cycles are the ideal ones in which to taste wine.

In the past fortnight, Avondale has tested this biodynamic calendar.

The winery - on the slopes of the Klein Drakenstein Mountains to the south of the town of Paarl - pioneered science-supported organic and biodynamic wine growing in SA, so testing this element of farming according to nature’s calls was not unexpected.

The panelists tasted the wine estate’s nature-friendly wines across the four tasting cycles to ascertain the merits of this concept.

They were not informed which cycle they were experiencing until last week’s final round, but had respectively tasted through the fruit, leaf, root and then flower cycles.

Avondale proprietor Johnathan Grieve says what emerged was the unanimous agreement on the differing characteristics of the wines in each respective cycle.

During the fruit cycle, the fruity notes on the wines were “almost overpowering”, while the rosé Camissa (an unusual blend of muscat de Frontignan and mourvèdre) was the firm favourite. In the leaf cycle, the “stunned panel” found the wines completely different – gone was the fruitiness of two days earlier for tertiary notes.

The root tasting revealed “subdued” wines that appeared to have “gone to sleep”, while the flower day had the panel wholeheartedly agreeing it was the best, particularly for the red wines.

Maybe being asked if you are affected by the moon is not such a far-out concept as it appears on the surface!

Now, by establishing which cycles are when, we can optimise our tasting. - The Mercury

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