Heat brings relief for French vineyards

Torrid temperatures across much of France have made the past few weeks unbearable for many, but with grape harvests kicking off this week, the country’s winemakers say the heat could not have come at a better time.

“Grape vines like the sun,” said Bernard Farges, president of the wine grower’s association for the Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur appellations.

“It rained a lot last spring in nearly all winegrowing regions, especially in the south… so the vines aren’t suffering from the drought,” he said.

Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert told AFP on Monday that this year’s grape output was expected to be “higher than average” after production was hit by weather-related losses last year [ . . . ]

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The Best Defense for French Wine Growers? Bats!

Wine, for when you want to party but still feel classy about it. Like all edible alcohol, wine comes from fermentation, and for millennia artisans have honed their craft at turning humble grapes into the drink of the gods. So suffice it to say growing good grapes is crucial to making good wine.

That’s why French wine growers have such a beef with moths. These thirsty bootleg butterfly bugs love swooping down and eating grapes right off the vine. They have the nerve to get between us and our wine! But fear not, a recent wine industry study revealed that in the War For Wine we have an animal kingdom ally in the fight against moths, an animal we’re already used to associating with superheroics. It turns out bats are the best natural defense wine can get.

It’s really just the food cycle wine growers should be thankful for. Of the 22 local Bordeaux bat species, researchers observed that 19 of them specifically love to feast on moths that target wine grapes. Droppings analysis confirmed that it was these harmful moths being preyed on. Other insects were spared.

With this knowledge, wine growers could use these bats to their advantage. They could act like organic pesticides, clearing the fields of insects while not introducing harmful chemicals into the ecosystem. It would take some effort though. The bats instinctively hunt in wilder regions, so they would have to be somehow funneled towards these domesticated vineyards [ . . . ]

Read morea at GREEK.com: The Best Defense for French Wine Growers? Bats! – Geek.com