Making Wine With the Help of Bugs, Raptors, and Livestock

by Kathleen Willcox

IG: @kathleenwillcox

This article was recently published March 3, 2023 in Ambrook Research, data-driven storytelling for modern agriculture:

Some crops and places, inevitably, are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Take wine grapes. Scientists writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences warn that the area considered suitable for growing these grapes could shrink by 56-85% in the coming decades if current warming patterns persist…

While some growers double down and utilize more chemical inputs to keep pests away, others are responding to an abundance of studies that show pesticides not only don’t solve for long-term pest and weather problems, they can contribute to the acceleration of climate change…

At Lodi, N.Y.’s, Silver Thread Vineyard, owner and winemaker Paul E. Brock II uses seven chickens to till, weed, and eat insects on his seven-acre vineyard. “We will be expanding to 15 to 20 birds this season, and plan to include ducks, geese and guinea hens,” Brock said. “The chickens are great at tilling soil around the vines, and geese are great at eating grass. Ducks and guinea hens are also excellent insect eaters.”

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