Biodynamic Wine
and the Millennial
Generation
By Michael McCullough
And
Eivis Qenani
Background
Methodology
Consumer Results
Producer Results
Insights
Background
Methodology
Consumer Results
Producer Results
Insights
Biodynamic Viticulture in
the United States
v  The term biodynamic stems from two Greek roots:
v  Bios, meaning life

an...
Biodynamic Viticulture in
the United States
v  Rudolf Steiner’s introduced biodynamic farming in the

early 1920’s.
v  S...
Biodynamic Viticulture in
the United States
v  Steiner established nine cardinal biodynamic

preparations to maximize soi...
Biodynamic Viticulture in
the United States
v  502-507 are used in the creation of compost with the

following plant extr...
Biodynamic Viticulture in
the United States
v  The biodynamic certification process requires multiple

steps.
v  Usually...
Biodynamic Viticulture in
the United States

v  The most predominant biodynamic crop are wine

grapes.

v  Over 20% of a...
Biodynamic Viticulture in
the United States
v  Biodynamic Wine standards are very rigid and forbid

the addition of tanni...
Millennial Wine Drinkers
Magali (2008) addressed wine consumer’s familiarity of
organic and biodynamic wines.
v  Of the 4...
Millennial Wine Drinkers
v  19% were familiar with the difference between organic

wine and organically grown grapes.
v ...
Background
Methodology
Consumer Results
Producer Results
Insights
Survey Design
v  All 68 Demeter certified biodynamic producers were

contacted over the phone and subsequently emailed a
...
Survey Design
Survey questions included:
v  Number of cases of biodynamic wine produced,
v  When vineyard and biodynamic...
Survey Design
v  Millennial consumers were also surveyed in an effort

to gain an understanding of their purchasing power...
Survey Design
Survey questions explained:
v  Consumers’ demographics,
v  Their average amount/price of wine they buy,
v...
Background
Methodology
Consumer Results
Producer Results
Insights
Consumer Demographic
Results

Of the 308 survey respondents:

v  A slight majority were between the ages of 21 and 25

ye...
Consumer Purchasing
Results

v  When asked how many

Bottles Purchased in a Month

bottles of wine the
survey takers purc...
Consumer Purchasing
Results

Purchase Avenue

Information Source
Other

Other

Wine bar
Radio

Internet

Google
Facebook

...
Consumer Organic
Awareness
Sustainable Practices

Familiar with Organic Wine

140
120
100
80
60
40
20
0

Not at all
famili...
Consumer Biodynamic
Awareness

Tasted Biodynamic Wine

Biodynamic Familiarity
Not at all familiar

300

Not very familiar
...
Background
Methodology
Consumer Results
Producer Results
Insights
Producer Survey Results
Where is your operation located?
CA
OR
NY
IL
WA

13
4
1
1
1

Start of Operation

Start of Biodynam...
v  7 producers manage

20-50 acres
v  4 own 50-150 acres of

grapes.
v  2 producers that

reported having over
200 acre...
Producer Survey Results
When asked whether they carried out biodynamic
procedures in the vineyard, winery, or both:
v  35...
Producer Survey Results
Sales Avenues

Case Production
6

Distributor
5

4
Respondents

Off-Premise

On-Premise

3

2

Mai...
Producer Survey Results
v  The success of biodynamic wine is heavily dependent on

the perceptions and awareness of wine ...
Producer Survey Results
What are the reasons you decided to follow biodynamic practices?
Stewardship + Admiration of other...
Producer Survey Results
How would you characterize the difference between a biodynamic wine and a conventional wine?
(alco...
Background
Methodology
Consumer Results
Producer Results
Insights
General Insights
v  Wine consumers lack a knowledge of biodynamic

practices and procedures within the wine industry.
v ...
General Insights
v  As long as biodynamic farming remains an unknown

technique to the public, many consumers will refrai...
General Insights
v  However, there is a gap between consumer purchasing

habits and producer advertising/selling.
v  Whi...
General Insights
v  It is still yet unknown whether biodynamic viticulture

and enology can be successful economically.
v...
Questions
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Biodynamic wine

  1. 1. Biodynamic Wine and the Millennial Generation By Michael McCullough And Eivis Qenani
  2. 2. Background Methodology Consumer Results Producer Results Insights
  3. 3. Background Methodology Consumer Results Producer Results Insights
  4. 4. Biodynamic Viticulture in the United States v  The term biodynamic stems from two Greek roots: v  Bios, meaning life and v  Dynamis, meaning energy. v  Biodynamic farming focuses on the natural energies, entities, and organisms that are vital in the preservation of life.
  5. 5. Biodynamic Viticulture in the United States v  Rudolf Steiner’s introduced biodynamic farming in the early 1920’s. v  Since there are over 4,200 biodynamic farms worldwide. v  In the United States there is only one certification association, Demeter U.S.A. Association. v  There are 68 Demeter certified wine and vineyard producers in the United States today.
  6. 6. Biodynamic Viticulture in the United States v  Steiner established nine cardinal biodynamic preparations to maximize soil vitality and fuel plant growth. v  These materials are usually fermented and applied to soil or directly to the plant as a fertilizer and are labeled by Steiner as 500-508. v  500 is a dung horn, made from fermented bovine manure. v  501 is a silica horn, made from powdered quartz.
  7. 7. Biodynamic Viticulture in the United States v  502-507 are used in the creation of compost with the following plant extracts: Yarrow, Chamomile, Stinging Nettle, Oak Bark, Dandelion, and Valerian Flowers. v  508 is the preparation of an anti-fungal plant spray made of the horsetail plant. v  In addition, planting and harvesting crops is based on lunar patterns. v  Just as the phases of the moon guide and direct the tides of the ocean, it is believed that they also control the sap flow within plants.
  8. 8. Biodynamic Viticulture in the United States v  The biodynamic certification process requires multiple steps. v  Usually, starting with an organic certification. v  Followed with an application to Demeter USA. v  And then annual inspections by Demeter. v  While many farms in the U.S. practice biodynamic agriculture not all become certified.
  9. 9. Biodynamic Viticulture in the United States v  The most predominant biodynamic crop are wine grapes. v  Over 20% of all certified biodynamic acreage is comprised of wine grape vineyards v  29 of the 62 U.S. Demeter-Certified biodynamic farms are located in California. v  Wines produced as a result of these biodynamic grapes can be certified as one of the two following labeling alternatives: v  “Biodynamic Wine” or v  “Wine Made from Biodynamic Grapes.”
  10. 10. Biodynamic Viticulture in the United States v  Biodynamic Wine standards are very rigid and forbid the addition of tannins or any flavoring from oak chips as well as prohibiting the modification of yeast enzymes, acidity, or sugar alteration. v  Wine Made from Biodynamic Grapes is a bit more flexible; the winemaker can make adjustments to the wine using non-synthetic and/or non-genetically engineered substances.
  11. 11. Millennial Wine Drinkers Magali (2008) addressed wine consumer’s familiarity of organic and biodynamic wines. v  Of the 400 California residents that responded to the survey: v  66% of the stated that they were familiar with “organic wine” v  39% had actually tasted organic wine
  12. 12. Millennial Wine Drinkers v  19% were familiar with the difference between organic wine and organically grown grapes. v  17% of survey respondents were familiar with “wine from biodynamic grown grapes”, v  But only 8% had tasted biodynamic wine. v  A majority (76%) of the respondents that claimed they were familiar with organic wine had never even heard of biodynamic wine
  13. 13. Background Methodology Consumer Results Producer Results Insights
  14. 14. Survey Design v  All 68 Demeter certified biodynamic producers were contacted over the phone and subsequently emailed a survey using Surveymonkey.com. There were two main objectives of the producer survey: 1.  To help obtain knowledge of biodynamic wine making practices and growing procedures. 2.  To help understand the rational behind this choice of production practice.
  15. 15. Survey Design Survey questions included: v  Number of cases of biodynamic wine produced, v  When vineyard and biodynamic operations started, v  How many acres of traditional, organic, and biodynamic vines are maintained, v  The reasoning behind their choice to change their past/current wine practices to biodynamic farming procedures.
  16. 16. Survey Design v  Millennial consumers were also surveyed in an effort to gain an understanding of their purchasing power and purchasing trends, as well as their general knowledge and perceptions of biodynamic wines. v  A Facebook event in which consumers of legal drinking age were given the ability to quickly and easily complete the survey from the comfort of their own computer.
  17. 17. Survey Design Survey questions explained: v  Consumers’ demographics, v  Their average amount/price of wine they buy, v  Where they tend to purchase their wine, v  Their familiarity with organic and biodynamic wine, v  How likely they were to purchase organic or biodynamic wine over traditional wine.
  18. 18. Background Methodology Consumer Results Producer Results Insights
  19. 19. Consumer Demographic Results Of the 308 survey respondents: v  A slight majority were between the ages of 21 and 25 years old, 60%. v  The bulk of survey takers were female, 61.6%. v  Claimed single as their marital status. v  Employed part-time and v  Earned an annual salary of less than $20,000. i.e., college students
  20. 20. Consumer Purchasing Results v  When asked how many Bottles Purchased in a Month bottles of wine the survey takers purchase on a monthly basis the answers widely varied from 0 up to 35 bottles. v  A majority of the respondents say that on average they tend to purchase wines that range between $10.00 and $14.99. Min Max 35 Average 5.013 Median 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 0 4
  21. 21. Consumer Purchasing Results Purchase Avenue Information Source Other Other Wine bar Radio Internet Google Facebook Wine Club Friends and Family Restaurant by the glass Direct from winery Wine Spectator Magazine Bars/restaurants Winery events Wine tasting dinners Wine Shops Winery tasting rooms Sommelier Liquor Store Server Restaurant by the bottle Supermarket Bar 0 50 100 150 Respondents 200 250 300 0 50 100 150 Respondents 200 250
  22. 22. Consumer Organic Awareness Sustainable Practices Familiar with Organic Wine 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Not at all familiar 22% Not very familiar 34% Extremely important Very important Somewhat important Not very important Very familiar 10% Somewhat familiar 29% Not at all important Organic Wine Experience Somewhat Positive 62% Extremely familiar 5% Not very positive 11% Not at all positive 3% Very Positive 24% Likelihood of Organic Purchase Not very likely 39% Not at all likely 9% Extremely likely 3% Somewhat likely 40% Very likely 9%
  23. 23. Consumer Biodynamic Awareness Tasted Biodynamic Wine Biodynamic Familiarity Not at all familiar 300 Not very familiar 200 Somewhat familiar 100 Very familiar 0 Extremely familiar 0 20 40 60 80 Yes 100 120 140 160 180 No Respondents Biodynamic Tasting Experience: Total 48 Not very positive 11% Somewhat positive 60% Not at all positive 6% Very positive 23% Likelihood of Future Biodynamic Purchase 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Extremely likely Very likely Somewhat likely Not very likely Not at all likely
  24. 24. Background Methodology Consumer Results Producer Results Insights
  25. 25. Producer Survey Results Where is your operation located? CA OR NY IL WA 13 4 1 1 1 Start of Operation Start of Biodynamic Practice 6 9 8 5 7 4 6 5 3 4 2 3 2 1 1 0 0 < 1970 1971-1980 1981-1990 Year 1991-2000 2001-2010 1998-1999 2000-2001 2002-2003 2004-2005 2006-2007 2008-2009
  26. 26. v  7 producers manage 20-50 acres v  4 own 50-150 acres of grapes. v  2 producers that reported having over 200 acres. Total Organic Acreage 1-19 acres of grapes, Total Acreage v  5 producers maintain Total Biodynamic Acreage Producer Survey Results 0 500 1000 Acreage 1500 2000
  27. 27. Producer Survey Results When asked whether they carried out biodynamic procedures in the vineyard, winery, or both: v  35% of the producers solely followed these practices in the vineyard. v  65%, performed biodynamic procedures in the vineyard and throughout their winemaking process. v  Of the 10% of producers that also sold their grapes as well as used them for biodynamic wine production, the amount of grapes sold averaged about 3%
  28. 28. Producer Survey Results Sales Avenues Case Production 6 Distributor 5 4 Respondents Off-Premise On-Premise 3 2 Mailing List/Internet 1 0 Tasting Room 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
  29. 29. Producer Survey Results v  The success of biodynamic wine is heavily dependent on the perceptions and awareness of wine consumers. Of the 20 respondents, 55% confirmed that they did not believe that consumers were aware of biodynamic wines and practices. One producer’s responded, “There are more [consumers] that have heard of the idea of biodynamic, yet very few who understand the practice. I would say there are many [producers] who practice biodynamic, yet do not fully understand the practice, therefore, do not have the ability to explain it to others. This is one of the great challenges of biodynamic agriculture, to protect itself and market itself effectively at the same time.”
  30. 30. Producer Survey Results What are the reasons you decided to follow biodynamic practices? Stewardship + Admiration of other BD Growers around the world increase the quality of grapes and wines we tried it out side by side with conventional practices and the choice was obvious too numerous to mention but Wine quality Organic farming alone was not enough. we needed the preps and compost to heal our vineyards Health of the plant It makes sense It is a complete system of understanding and using all life forces. We practiced organic for 20 years and felt Biodynamic was the next step, offering a more comprehensive managment and development of our farming operation as well as our personal growth. we need to raise the quality of our farming practices wanted to "raise the bar" on our vineyard to produce the best quality grapes that we could do. our vineyard consultant recommended us going biodynamic the practices filled in the cracks for disease control on the vines where organics was giving me incomplete answers. Biodynamics also concentrates on soil building techniques and returning your farm to a more natural ecosystem through wildlife habitat, beneficial insect habitat, reducing off-farm inputs and biodiversity of flora. For the health of the vineyards and the people who work in them. To be better stewards of the land God gave us. We actually farmed another vineyard (130 acres of vines) that we sold this year biodynamically for 7 years. We had remarkable success with the farming technique and want to continue with our new project in San Juan Bautista. As a matter of responsibility to our site, the health and vitality of our soils, and to the earth at large. It just so happens, that in appropriately skilled hands, Biodynamic produce, winegrapes in our particular case, has amazing potential to make vastly superior products. connection to the earth and the rest of the cosmos Pure expression of wine, better agriculture, long-term dedication to the land. Better for the environment, our workers and our consumers. Also better quality. 1- Grow healthy fruit, more natural 2- Be different 3- Push the envellop in sustainability practices wanted healthier vines and a "cleaner" farming practice Better wine, better for the land, environmental concerns
  31. 31. Producer Survey Results How would you characterize the difference between a biodynamic wine and a conventional wine? (alcohol content, aroma, etc.) I Wouldn't! There is no such thing as Biodynamic Wine. Biodynamic is a practice and philosophy for agriculture not winemaking. Our grapes are of greater quality, phenolics in better balance, ripeness is increased (not alcohol but phenolics), better quality in tannins, better nutrient levels and therefore fermentations, better clarity of fruit expression. All of these things increase the quality of the wine. The wines are made within the standards of wine produced from biodynamic grapes, not biodynamic wine, according to Demeter. again I think to difficult to mention in a sound bite but authentic is a good word biodynamic wine allows for the wine to be more itself... we find the grapes come in healthier so there is less manipulation then in conventional wine Sense of place ,purity in the wine True to the Earth, balanced. Biodynamic wine is vibrant and generally more complex than a conventional wine made in the Midwest. We carry the philosophy of gentle handling and minimal manipulatio into the winery and we believe that makes a difference. We also use evaporated cane juice rather than refined sugar to sweeten our fruit wines. This creates a softer wine. i don't think i can tell the difference between the two except if the conventional wine has been made using lots of chemicals beside sulfites. biodynamic wine: increased aromas and mouthfeel. Purity of flavor. More concentration of fruit characteristics. Life force is in the wine. Biodynamic wine better reflects the charcteristics of the terrior of the site producing the grapes A biodynamic wine is balanced, complex, soulful. I find that I am more energized after drinking a biodynamic wine over the headache and tired feeling from a conventional wine. ...its just that no matter how much I'd like to say that BD wines will always make more balanced, nuanced, fresh, energetic, terroirdriven wines, the bottom line is that BD wines only have the POTENTIAL to do so, and outside of practices like those detailed w/in biodynamics, it is very difficult for fruit to actually express the aforementioned ideas. More supple, more subtle with a finer integration of flavors. balance is the key, in all aspects of flavor, aroma, chemical analysis etc.. Too hard to tell. Organileptically no diffirence Philosophically much difference more complex and lively on the palate. better balance of components Biodynamic wines have more complexity, especially since we do not fine or filter our wines. Conventional wines can be full of chemicals so it feels better to drink bio wines!
  32. 32. Background Methodology Consumer Results Producer Results Insights
  33. 33. General Insights v  Wine consumers lack a knowledge of biodynamic practices and procedures within the wine industry. v  Many consumers that were surveyed demonstrated an awareness and comprehension of organic and sustainable wines, but were confused by the term “biodynamic”. v  Several consumers expressed some importance to them of purchasing sustainable wines, while the majority of consumers did not demonstrate any significant interest in purchasing biodynamic wines.
  34. 34. General Insights v  As long as biodynamic farming remains an unknown technique to the public, many consumers will refrain from purchasing wines that are produced in that manner. v  The term “biodynamic” must become familiar terminology amongst wine consumers before producers can expect an increase in purchasing trends. v  The millennial generation could potentially be targeted as new customers to the growing industry and biodynamic viticulturists producing biodynamic grapes and wine.
  35. 35. General Insights v  However, there is a gap between consumer purchasing habits and producer advertising/selling. v  While 16 producers indicated off-premise sales only 6 sell in grocery stores; the number 1 place for millennial purchases. v  In addition, only 3 of the 6 that sell in grocery stores advertise there as well. v  This is in lieu of over 3,400 bonded wineries in California alone.
  36. 36. General Insights v  It is still yet unknown whether biodynamic viticulture and enology can be successful economically. v  While it may have a positive impact on the farm as a whole, if economically unviable it is not sustainable. v  As millennial consumers search for the next new thing, it is up to the biodynamic producer to reach them through tastings, word-of-mouth, social networking, and all the other millennial targeted marketing techniques.
  37. 37. Questions
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