The fruit used for wine is left on the vine until maximum sugar is accumulated to produce wine with a significant amount of alcohol. Birds, wasps, and foxes are just a few creatures attracted to the ripening fruit hanging in the vine. There are a few different ways of repelling the predators that consume the fruits of our labors. The best way is exclusion or a barrier blocking access to the fruit. This is the only guaranteed way to get as much clean fruit to the press as possible. When the fruit gets damaged it opens it up to bacteria and fungus which will make it unusable. Bird netting over the row is the common method of protection against the major source of fruit looting in our area. The picture is of our Pinot Noir protected by the nets. The downfall with netting is the time to install and uninstall. We also use reflective tape, pinwheels, and a speaker system that plays sounds of eagles and falcons along with sounds of common fruit-eating birds in distress.
In the next blog we will look into the measuring of sugar and how well we are keeping the fruit intact on the vine.