Vinum – Chatting with Goethe

Alain Moueix is one of the trailblazers of organic production in Bordeaux, and his two estates are successfully run in accordance with biodynamic principles. He reads Goethe daily.

Once I started looking into the methods of biodynamics, I also wanted to immerse myself in the world of Rudolf Steiner. When I first started off with Steiner, to be honest I only grasped a fraction of his way of thinking. I told myself, give yourself a few years and you will understand more. Instead, I forgot a lot of it, and so I am currently trying to summarise Steiner: for me, that’s the best way of approaching his concepts and ideas. That’s how I discovered the strength of the links between Steiner and Goethe, to whom he dedicated his first book.

Reading Goethe has helped me to find bridges between art and nature, aesthetics and science, environment and humans. « Metamorphosis of Plants » changed my understanding of interconnections. Goethe demonstrates how plants can be used to heal plants. Steiner teaches us how to identify, understand and use a plant’s psychological profile, rather than dissecting it and banishing it to a herbarium. Biodynamics cannot be undertaken with clever formulas and preconceived ideas, but rather requires observation and an understanding of interconnections, a holistic view of things. Goethe drew, composed poetry and prose, studied nature, and wrote about the fine arts and theory of colour. « Metamorphosis of Plants » is therefore always within reach on my desk. Goethe criticised the arrogance of botanists of his time in the way they approached the plant kingdom – he wanted to understand nature, not dominate it. All of this had a strong influence on me, in both how I make my wine and how I lead my teams. I try to explain more and impose myself less. I compare my wines to paintings: they should be beautiful, and they should be beneficial and pleasing.

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