Talks with Todd: Combatting Feathered Foes

Vineyard managers battle mother nature everyday.  Fungi, bacteria, mold and deer are all common wine-grape pests.  Come late August, early September, there’s a feathery foe: warblers.

The warblers swing presumptuously down from the sky and pluck our grapes right out of their clusters.  The brick count (a measure of sugar content) in the pinot grigio is nearly up to 20, so I can understand why grapes have become the choice bird snack.  I can barely prevent myself from picking the grapes right now – they are so good – so it’s hard to blame the birds.

To prevent against the wino-warblers (and Katies), Todd puts nets up around the vines.  Bird-brained animals can’t conceptualize of reaching through the nets, so the grapes are protected.

Netted Cabernet Sauvignon

It’s nice that there is such a simple alternative to using pesticides.  Nets – so easy!

Net Jungle

The view through the nets is absolutely breathtaking.  The nets make the vineyard feel misty and enchanted.

View of Netted Vineyard

Unnetted Cabernet Sauvignon

This is a half-netted Cabernet Sauvignon vine.  The half-net technique tricks warblers, but not me!  I ate one, and it was delicious.

Signing off from Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery in Cape May County, NJ – Cape May Wine Country ~ Cate Hylas

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