The three basic principles of good work in the winery are cleanliness, cleanliness and cleanliness. David is strict about very few things, and cleanliness is one of them. When you work with minimal sulfur in the cellar, and you do not want to intervene in anything, and you want to obtain clean and crisp wines, the objective is to avoid problems. And the only way to avoid problems is that everything is pristine, clean.
Nothing can be left for tomorrow: everything must be cleaned immediately after use. And the cleaning method is also strict: pressurized water over 100 degrees. No products. The only thing we use is hydrogen peroxide that we circulate through the hoses and the pump. Caustic soda and citric acid are prohibited in our cellar. They are products that leave wrong messages.
Biodynamics believes in the ability of water to convey subtle messages and in the nobility of certain materials. That is why the use of certain chemicals is avoided, even when cleaning the tanks. The most meticulous vignerons even remove chlorine from tap water to wash their tanks. I have always been surprised by how exhaustive David can be in cleaning, in which he requires that the day after cleaning, we wipe with a cloth and dry the deposits inside so that there is no moisture left, which can lead to rotting processes.
But I was even more surprised when, with the same thoroughness, he reviews the cleanliness of the materials for the dynamization of the biodynamic preparations. The pots that we use to heat the water and make it more dynamic with biodynamic preparations are made of copper. Copper is an element that transmits energy and is suitable for the use of biodynamics. Well, all these elements must be perfectly clean before use. Without that cleaning, the messages that we are going to transmit lose quality, and finally, effectiveness.
This is how David learned it from Alex Podolinsky, who is the benchmark for biodynamic agriculture in Australia. David always remembers when he heard him speak at a conference in France – years later he went to visit him. Alex Podolinsky spoke of the importance of details: good intentions are not enough; you have to do it right. For David, that conference marked a major change in his practice, and also in its results. Doing it well means having the right water, the right materials, in a state of maximum cleanliness, and doing the revitalization well in the right conditions and times. If not, good results cannot be achieved.
Thus, in the winery and in everything related to preparations and treatments, the rules are easy and simple: cleaning, cleaning and cleaning.