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12.26.2005

No Skipping Barefoot Through These Vineyards

OK, maybe skipping barefoot through most vineyards is an invitation to a broken ankle, but in some New Zealand vineyards now such a display of frivolity is likely to result in bloody feet. Apparently in an experiment to find uses for recycled glass, some vintners are covering the soil of their vineyards with a layer of crushed glass. In addition to looking pretty, the vintners think that the glass may reflect heat up onto the vines and result in more consistent ripening. I guess this is based on somewhat the same principles involved in some Biodynamic preparations which involve spraying water with crushed quartz onto the vines. These vintners are celebrating this practice as something new in the way of responsible environmentalism, but I just gotta imagine that all that glass will make picking grapes particularly dicey. Read the full story here.

Comments (3)

Charlene wrote:
12.26.05 at 11:44 AM

I wonder how they plan to keep it in place. A good rainfall, windstorm, or even some vigorous irrigation can blow ground glass around.

It will discourage animals, that's for sure.

Doug wrote:
12.26.05 at 7:33 PM


I've seen a similiar idea using broken roofing and floor tiles to line rows. May serve as road base as well as heat conducter??

Mithrandir wrote:
12.27.05 at 2:29 PM

Biodynamic substance 501 is prepared by stuffing a horn full of ground quartz (basically, sand), burying it in the summer and digging it up in the autumn. The quartz is then diluted with 50 +- 10 liters of water, and splashed about in a vaguely ritualistic manner. It has no effect whatsoever. Biodynamics is glorified geomancy, with a dash of sympathetic magic.

The recycled glass thing, on the other hand, is completely different. It actually has some chance of changing the dynamics of the field. Particularly, it will probably alter the drainage characteristics of the soil (like adding sand or gravel), and if the albedo is high enough, it might reflect light and heat onto the underside of the vines.

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