There’s been a few headlines knocking around the last couple of days about a vineyard in Stellenbosch that’s come up with a novel way of keeping the insects down in the vineyard. At the Vergenoegd winery they’ve taken to using an army of…what for it…ducks! Check out this link here to see them in action. But it’s really not as daft as it sounds.
The wine industry is coming under increasing scrutiny about its sustainability and environmental footprint. Right bloody so. The big boom in production across vast swathes of the wine regions of the world came from using “easy fix” chemical sprays, pesticides, and eco-system-damaging irrigation systems. A quick look at an area like Riverina in Australia should leave a good few people hanging their heads in shame.
But in the last few years or so it’s all been about sustainability especially is such incredible eco systems like the west coast of South Africa. About time, right? So, plant your vineyards in less drought-ridden areas to rely less on expensive and erosion-inducing irrigation systems. Find drier or windier sites to keep the spraying down to a bare minimum. And find better ways of tackling the pest situation.
Easy solution? Natural predators. Now, slightly tricky thing is you need to find a natural predator that loves eating bugs but (and this is the crucial and obvious point) doesn’t like eating grapes! So all of a sudden these ducks are looking ever so slightly genius aren’t they? Helps that they make you chuckle too.