Monday, July 1, 2013

Fewer deer make for more wine!

Iowa's largest wine bottle (13' 7") stands outside of Fireside Winery's winery. 

Last week, Rachel, Madison (Stan and Jean's granddaughter) took a trip to Marengo, IA to visit the folks of Fireside Winery. They use our 3-D anti-deer fence design around their vineyard.

Madison standing between the two layers of 3-D fence. 

We met with Zach Bott, a long time shepherd and Fireside's winemaker. In 2009, he needed a fence that could keep deer out of the 13 acre vineyard. A 6 ft or taller fence was not desirable. He contacted Premier and spoke with Stephanie Sexton, who after a visit to the vineyard, suggested the 3-D fence. (The 3-D fence is actually 2 fences of electrified rope set 3 ft apart. They combine to make a barrier that has height, width and depth!)

IntelliRope 4.5 provides high conductivity and visibility. 

Bott baits the fence twice a year with scent caps. In the Spring when the leaves bud from the vines and later in the Summer when the grapes are ripening. These are the times when deer pressure is the highest, and Bott wants to ensure that the local deer know the vineyard is off limits. The fence has been up and used consistently since it was installed in 2009. Bott remarks that the fence, "really keeps them (deer) out." Plans are being made for expanding the vineyard and planting more grapes. Bott thinks that they will experiment with a 2-D multistrand fence.

Aside from rolling hills of 3-D deer fence, we saw a few innovative uses of our ear tags. At the end of each row of vines was an ear tag marked with the variety of grapes grown in that row. It works out pretty well. The tags (which are UV treated) are exposed to the elements 24/7 but won't fade.
Using ear tags to mark the rows of grapes. 

After the photo session we had to head out. Unfortunately we did not have time to enjoy some wine, but we're making plans for an off-the-clock trip.