We like to blame the moon and stars for all sorts of misfortune. Your boss is cranky because of Mercury, your rising sun is giving you the emotional cramps, and you’re pretty sure your car troubles have something to do with the lunar eclipse. But the fickle whims of celestial bodies are not all bad – what if we told you that the moon makes your wine taste extra delicious?
Advocates of biodynamics have long waxed lyrical about the boost to one’s crops when planting according to the phases of the moon. It’s currently one of the more hip trends among indie small-batch wine producers in the Cape, with many a bottle dedicated to the lunar calendar lining the shelves of SA wine bars. But according to legendary biodynamics proponent Maria Thun, this holistic agricultural approach can extend beyond the vine into your very glass.
There are four days in the lunar calendar that apparently affect your wine tasting – “fruit”, “flower”, “leaf” and “root” days. Prepared to be disappointed if you pop your bottles on the earthy root day, whereas the wafts of chlorophyll on watery leaf days apparently leave your wine lacklustre. Indeed, according to Thun and her infamous annual wine-drinking calendars, you have to hold out for a fruit day for your reds, while the aromatics in white wine sing on a flower day.
By charming coincidence, the inaugural Johannesburg version of the boutique food and wine festival Noble Vice, which takes place on July 13, happens to fall on a fruit day. The annual Cape Town festival has moved up north to Muldersdrift to give Gauteng residents a chance to test this lunar theory on the wares of 30 wine producers, including the likes of AA Badenhorst, Fram, Huis van Chevallerie, Fable Mountain Vineyards and Mother Rock, all the while being fed by six of Jozi’s best chefs.
“The philosophy behind Noble Vice, especially the wine aspect, is all about going back to basics, stripping down to the bare essence of farming,” says festival partner Angela Jordaan, who also serves as its wine consultant. “We work with producers who focus on vineyards and farming the land sustainably, organically or biodynamically. From vineyard to cellar, the winemakers use minimal intervention, creating wines which are vibrant with life and full of soul – a true reflection of the terroir and the people who turn it into wine.”
• Test the fruit (days) of their labour at Noble Vice on July 13 at Ground in Muldersdrift. Tickets available at Quicket.