Why French Winemakers Are Welcoming Bats to Their Vineyards
The winged creatures may help the wine industry salvage a terrible year
It’s not such a batty idea: Bordeaux wine producers are building bat-friendly habitats on their vineyards to help eradicate the issue of grapevine moth and grape berry moth infestation.
And in doing so, they’re hoping to salvage a beleaguered French wine industry that’s suffering not only from pests but high tariffs, climate change and the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, all of which is decimating sales of high-end wine bottles.
As Forbes reports, wine producers in France are creating strips of grass between the vines and building bat boxes; the hope is that the insect-eating mammals will eradicate the moths that cause botrytis, a gray mold that’s seriously hurt the industry before, particularly Champagne.
A Bordeaux-based scientist has been catching bats in nets and testing for the moths in their digestive systems; unfortunately, even their presence can’t prove if the yields will increase, as there are too many factors (such as climate) that change every year.
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