Vineyard enemy No. 1 is the European starling, a non-native bird that travels in flocks of thousands. During harvest, they descend in doomsday-like clouds to feast on the fast-ripening grapes that are just now reaching their full sugar potential for making wine.
Falcons are the best way to control the starlings because they’re natural predators,” says Erich Jaster, vineyard foreman at Le Vieux Pin (and Lastella), a boutique winery in the South Okanagan now on its fourth vintage.
In Le Vieux Pin’s first year, the vineyard manager tried using cannons, but says the noise pollution weakened the nearby plants.
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