Conventional viticulture relies on the intense utilization of agrochemicals for its production. These products are harmful to the environment, in particular to the soil, biodiversity, and water bodies, as well as to the person spraying.
On the contrary, biodynamic farming abandons the use of these chemicals and emphasizes specific preparations. These are meant to function as a natural medicine for the health of the soil, plants, and the whole farm organism. The horn silicia (501) is one of the most important biodynamic preparations that are said to bring light to the plants and help the plants to grow effectively and with better quality.
Although scientific studies on the effectiveness of biodynamic preparations are limited, the number of biodynamic wine growers is constantly increasing throughout the last years. More and more biodynamic wines receive prizes for « the best wine » in their region, country, or even on the international level. The biodynamic farmers emphasize that the biodynamic preparations are part of their success recipe.
Thus, it is of great pleasure to highlight the results of the new study about the influence of horn silicia (501) on the leaf and berry growth of vineyards in North Italy here. The authors Malagoli et al. (2022) tested the metabolic changes of leaves and berries with the application of the preparation in two different vineyards. The leaves and berries were collected 6 hours and 11 days after the horn silicia treatment. The berries were collected and sampled at the harvesting time.
The authors conclude that "the application of 501 to plants of Vitis vinifera cv Garganega stimulated modifications on the content of phenolic metabolites in leaves and berries. The level of most of the identified compounds by metabolomic approaches increased in plants treated with the biodynamic preparation 501.
A common response to 501-treatment was evidenced in the phenolic constituents of berries, while in leaves the effect was detectable after 11 days and was dependent on the site of cultivation.
The secondary metabolism contributes to the plant adaptation to the environment. The comparison with the results obtained by other studies does not allow to suggest a general influence of 501 application to grapevine leaves and berries.”
However, the authors also highlight that “more research is surely needed to further explore the role of the 501 biodynamic treatment on grapevine secondary metabolism” and that “complementary approaches, combining targeted and untargeted data related to primary metabolism and to secondary metabolism, may offer a new opportunity in the evaluation of the complex and multifactorial effects of biodynamic treatment in viticulture.”
Authors: Malagoli, M., Sut, S., Kumar, G. et al.
Title: Variations of elements, pigments, amino acids and secondary metabolites in Vitis vinifera (L.) cv Garganega after 501 biodynamic treatment
Journal: Chemical and Biological Technologies in Agriculture, 9, 36 (2022)
Link to original (open access): https://chembioagro.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40538-022-00299-y
You would like to know more about the literature evidence of biodynamic wine growing? In the following review paper from Castellini et al. (2017) a first overview is given: https://www.dovepress.com/an-overview-of-the-biodynamic-wine-sector-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-IJWR