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Lactating Cow Manure To Treat B.C.'s 1st Biodynamic Wine

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Summerhill Pyramid Winery has become B.C.'s first bio-dynamic certified winery. ALAMY
Summerhill Pyramid Winery has become B.C.'s first bio-dynamic certified winery. ALAMY

Summerhill Pyramid Winery has become B.C.'s first bio-dynamic certified winery, and is using some unique methods to create its award-winning organic wines.

Gabe Cipes, who has lead the winery's biodynamic program, says one technique involves using rainwater mixed with the manure from a lactating cow that was stuffed inside a cow horn and buried under the ground for a year.

That produces a biologically-active fertilizer which is then sprayed on the vines, he says.

"It's supposed to suppress and resist mildew and fungal diseases, as well as enhance nutrients flowing to the roots," said Cipes.

Winemaker Eric von Krosigk admits it sounds strange.

"Somebody yesterday said 'Well isn't it just witchcraft, right?' And I always laugh," said von Krosigk.

"Yeah, maybe in a way it is, because yesterday's witchcraft is today's science," said von Krosigk."

He explains wine takes much of its flavour from the soil, and hopes the bio-dynamic practices create healthier plants and better tasting wine.

Von Krosigk admits that's ultimately up to the customers to decide.

The first bottles of bio-dynamic certified wine will be ready in 2015.

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