Vineyard Pests: And You Thought Birds Were Bad
Pests. They are the things that give grape growers fits. They tend to be insects, birds and even the occasional wild boar. However, you rarely here folks who grow grapes in CA, or nearly anywhere, make this complaint:
All in the service of a good bottle of wine, I presume. Apparently baboons are big fans of ripe grapes.
The folks worrying about Baboons are the Leakey family. Yes, THAT Leakey family…among The most famous paleoanthropologists in the world. They have vineyards in Kenya and make wine there. Hugh Johnson called their wines "certainly the most drinkable red we’d tasted in the tropics".
Their label is IL MASIN.
But Baboons? In order to keep the baboons from eating their ripened grapes they’ve put up an electric fence that does not merely stop the critters but apparently throws them 15 feet up into the air when it is touched.
The daughter of Richard and Maeve Leakey maintains a blog about her grapegrowing and winemaking experiences in Kenya: ZABIBU. It’s fascinating. After reading through it I can’t tell you have much I’d love to taste one of their Kenyan Pinot Noirs.
Tip of the hat to Amy Lillard of La Gramiere Winery Blog for the heads up on ZABIBU