A Bambi Free Zone for our precious gems

by Laura Gray on April 28, 2011

The deer are out in force, attracted by the fresh budlets on the vines. Two of our vineyards are flanked by woods and, far from asphalted roads and traffic, we are particularly vulnerable. The damage a couple of grazing deer can do in the hours between dusk and dark can be worse than 15 minutes of heavy hail since the vines can take up to two years to recover from being nibbled. The buds, delicious as they are, are so tiny that many are required to satisfy a hungry capriolo.

The prospect of a venison steak has never seemed so attractive but we are not allowed to shoot them. In the last couple of years our method of prevention involved patrolling the perimeter round the clock and spreading smelly preparations to ward them off. This year we have upped the stakes and electrified part of the fence. Some visitors tried it out today and apparently the charge isn’t too strong although it’s enough to dissuade a peckish deer.

The Italian word for vine-buds is gemme, which means gems. These buds are precious indeed, they hold within them the secrets of harvest 2011.

Previous post:

Next post: