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Waterford Whisky Launches World’s First Biodynamic Whisky

Waterford Distillery, the largest producer of organic malt whisky in the world, announces the launch of the world’s first whisky made from Biodynamic Irish barley called Biodynamic: Luna in the United States. As part of its pioneering quest to unearth whisky’s most natural flavors, Waterford Distillery has introduced the radical biodynamic farming philosophy, as lauded by many of the world’s legendary winemakers, to the conservative whisky industry. The bottling is the latest whisky in the distillery’s Arcadian Series, which showcases the flavors produced by forgotten ways of farming and rare barley varieties.

For the Demeter-certified Biodynamic: Luna three Irish growers – Trevor Harris, John McDonnell and Alan Mooney – stepped up to the challenge of applying unusual agricultural practices to growing barley. They run their farms according to esoteric principles derived from a 1924 series of lectures by the Austrian polymath Rudolf Steiner. Steiner created a codified agricultural system for post-WW1 farmers, who were worried about the industrialisation of agriculture, the degradation of the land and the loss of millennia of farming know-how – bios meaning life, and dynamos energy.

Mark Reynier, Waterford Distillery CEO, explained, “During the 1980s in the vineyards of Burgundy and Alsace, following decades of agro-chemical excess and the race for yield over quality, I witnessed the renaissance of terroir and modern winemaking. Out of this, biodynamics blossomed – a new philosophy that at first seemed outlandish, but after tasting the results increasingly proved its worth. Biodynamics is, after all, merely a self-contained farming system, but one that consists of the culmination of 16,000 years of agricultural optimisation – trial and error, life and death – before the vicissitudes of industrialisation and intensification dumbed down individuality.”

Having been adopted by many of the world’s greatest wine producers seeking the ultimate of pure and intense flavors, biodynamics today stands at the cutting edge of regenerative agriculture. Some say it is an advanced form of “über-organic” farming, in which each farm is its own self-sustaining organism where elements including soil, crops, animals, people and the ‘spirit of place’ are all interconnected. For Waterford, it is the ultimate expression of their terroir discoveries.

The approach includes an array of seemingly controversial practices such as burying manure-packed cow horns to ‘ferment’ underground; the creation of simple plant treatments and natural compost fertilizers to stimulate microbial activity; all following the natural rhythms of the lunar calendar. The purpose is to produce vibrant, chemical-free living soil. As barley makes malt whisky the most complex spirit in the world – the very source of its flavor – biodynamics will contribute to an even purer and more intense expression. Indeed, to create the ultimate natural whisky.

Mark Reynier added, “During my career I’ve had the fortune to taste the world’s greatest wines, it’s no surprise to see the ever-increasing adoption of biodynamics in the search for intensity and purity of flavor. If for the grape, why not the grain?”

Biodynamic: Luna is matured in a combination of 35% first-fill U.S. oak; 17% virgin US oak; 26% Premium French oak; and 22% Vin Doux Naturel oak. At 50% ABV, around 21,000 bottles of Biodynamic: Luna are available for $125 at fine retail stores.

https://waterfordwhisky.com/