Italian MPs refuse to recognize ‘witchcraft’ biodynamic winemaking method used by Sting
Italian MPs have refused to recognize the biodynamic production of wine, used by Sting in his Tuscan vineyard, after experts called the controversial method “witchcraft”.
The technique, which is gaining popularity, uses dung, animal intestines and cow horns to get the most out of grapes while relying on the movement of stars and treating the earth as a “living organism. and receptive”.
Lawmakers have now blocked and amended a bill granting legal recognition to the method in the country which is notoriously protective of its food and drink production.
Italian MPs refused to recognize the biodynamic production of wine, used by Sting in his Tuscan vineyard
Sting was named one of the top 100 producers in the country by Wine Spectator for his line which includes a red wine named Message in a Bottle
MP Riccardo Magi said after the vote: “We have avoided giving official status to a method that has no scientific basis.”
The bill sought to place biodynamics, pioneered by occult philosopher Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s, on par with organic farming for funding and promotion, The Times reported.
More than 4,500 farmers, including the former leader of The Police, use the technique in Italy.
Sting was named one of the top 100 producers in the country by Wine Spectator for his line which includes a red wine named Message in a Bottle.
According to the Biodynamic Agriculture and Gardening Association, the method is “a spiritual, ethical, and ecological approach to agriculture, gardens, food production, and nutrition.”
Sting bought his 18th century vineyard and estate at Il Palagio, Italy in 1999
The self-sustaining system uses natural soil and minerals, with animals encouraged to live on the soil and fertilize it as chemical fertilizers and pesticides are prohibited.
Steiner, the founder of the Steiner Schools, based the method on the lunar calendar and astrological influences which have been derided as pseudoscience.
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Giorgio Parisi compared it to the anti-vaxx movement, saying, “Frankly, that’s witchcraft.”
Cow horns are also filled with manure and buried in the ground during the winter, then excavated and the dung spreads throughout the vineyard.
Despite the bizarre techniques, some experts have praised the quality of the wines that produce natural flavor without pesticides or chemicals.
The bill in Italy was approved by the Senate last year, but its passage through the upper house sparked outrage and a petition against its approval has been signed by 35,000 people.
President Mattarella, who normally stays out of day-to-day politics, chimed in and said it was only an ‘assumption’ that biodynamic wines would be recognized
Cow horns are also filled with manure and buried in the ground during the winter, then excavated and the dung spreads throughout the vineyard. Pictured: Sting’s Tuscan Estate
President Mattarella, who normally stays out of day-to-day politics, chimed in and said it was only an “assumption” that biodynamic wines would be recognized.
After his rejection, Roberto Antonelli, director of the Lincei Scientific Academy, said: “Science has won.”
Last year, Sting told how he bought his 18th-century vineyard and estate at Il Palagio, Italy, in 1999.
He told Corriere della Sera that he and his wife Trudie Styler made several trips to the property as they considered buying it. The deciding factor, he said, was a delicious glass of Chianti.
‘[The Duke] offered us a glass of red from a carafe during one of our first visits to Il Palagio,’ Sting told the publication recently.
“We were in the process of negotiating the purchase. We really liked the property, even though it was in ruins. The Duke asked me if I wanted to taste the wine produced by the estate and I said yes. It was an excellent wine and that convinced me to buy the vines as well.
Rudolf Steiner (pictured), the founder of the Steiner schools, based the method on the lunar calendar and astrological influences which have been derided as pseudoscience
Sting claims the wine did not come from the property and he later learned that the Barolo came from another region.
“When we served the estate’s wine to our guests, I saw that someone was emptying their glass into a flower bed…”, says Sting.
“It was then that we decided to take revenge and show that it was possible to produce excellent wines from the vines of Palagio. Our whole Tuscan adventure has really been a way of pulling ourselves together.
His words aroused the fury of the son of Duke Simone Vincenzo Velluti Zati di San Clemente, who accuses the singer of having damaged the memory of his father.
He said: “Besides the fact that a gentleman of international experience like Sting (he was 46 at the time) should not confuse Barolo with Chianti, Nebbiolo with Sangiovese, nothing could be more foreign to the character, to the my father’s habits, behavior, in a word, his mind, than to behave like a crooked innkeeper.
Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, say they were misled into buying a sprawling Tuscan estate
Sting and Styler, have opened an organic wine bar and pizzeria on the property, where approximately 150,000 bottles of wine are produced each year
“Even a child can tell the difference between a Barolo and a Sangiovese. And, no Tuscan – Simone even less – would dare attempt such a cheap and absurd trick.
Since acquiring the estate, Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, have since opened an organic wine bar and pizzeria on the property, where approximately 150,000 bottles of wine are produced each year.
The property dates back to the late 1700s, when it was purchased by the Martelli family, who in 1819 sold it to Countess Carlotta Barbolani de Montauto, widow of the Duke of San Clemente.
It remained in the family until 1999 when it was acquired by Sting and his wife.
Described on its website as “beautifully and meticulously restored,” Sting’s villa sits at the top of a long driveway, offering sweeping views of rolling hills, olive groves, forests, and vineyards.