As growing numbers of wineries around the world consider the merits of organic and biodynamic principles, many are deploying vineyard animals to help fight weeds and pests without the use of chemicals...
Vineyard animals – Unlikely helpers
Updated on 26th September 2017.
At Two Paddocks Vineyard, owned by Sam Neill in Central Otago, sheep are used as weed control.
Credit: @TwoPaddocks Twitter
Peter Yealand, of Yealands Wines in New Zealand, has been experimenting with different animals for a while. As well as babydoll sheep (next), he uses Kunekune pigs for weeding, which eat vegetation without excessively digging up the ground, like other breeds.
Yealands babydoll Sheep
Both Kunekune pigs and babydoll sheep are able to graze in the Yealands vineyards all year round, because these breeds are too small to reach the grapes!
Previously, Yealands tried using giant guinea pigs in their vineyards, but sadly they were hunted by local hawks.
Had enough of vineyard helpers? Here’s an unwitting villain…At Kettle Valley Winery in British Columbia, bears eat the grapes. According to winemaker Bob Ferguson, they tend to go for Merlot grapes but dislike the Gewürztraminer.Find more vineyard pests here.
Credit: Aurora Photos / Alamy Stock Photo