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09.15.2006

Sunscreen For Grapes

Before I go shooting my mouth off about how silly an idea this is, I'd like to seriously ask if anyone is aware of any scientific studies that exist, or any precedents that exist in general agriculture about the use of chemical sunscreen on food.

Quintessa, a relatively large and well known Napa winery, has decided to create a concoction of Aloe Vera and Yucca extracts to spray on its grapes to protect them from the late summer sun. Is this a rational move driven by evidence showing such treatments actually work, or yet another example of the pseudo-science that plagues Biodynamic farming -- a regimen of farming which contain a set of practices and proscriptions that range from the highly rational to the just downright stupid?

Or maybe it's just one winery's experiments to see whether something actually works or not? I do hope they'll tell us. For now, I'm rolling my eyes with a chuckle.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud