birds & vineyards

To: <>
Subject: birds & vineyards
From: "Harry Clarke" <>
Date: Sat, 7 Apr 2001 07:27:30 +1000
Andrew Taylor's comments on birds and the wine industry are apt. I was
surprised when one Yarra Valley wine producer told me he had a 'licence' to
shoot birds that 'attacked' his crop.  I didn't even know such 'licenses'
were available. Are they?

What is unquestionable is that wine producers, in areas such as the Yarra
Valley, are turning their vineyards into ecological deserts for all native
flora and fauna.  Tree clearing is close to 100% in many areas and, even
where it is not, European weeds usually replace Australian shrubs and trees.
Domaine Chandon Vineyard, which is within view of the Yarra Ranges, for
example has virtually no native trees -- roses 'decorate' its vineyards. The
main birdlife around the vineyards are common mynas.

It is an easy matter not to drink the wines of producers who do not respect
the Australian environment and to make it clear why you won't. Such firms
are not 'adding value' if the social damage they do to the environment
exceeds profits they make.

Viticulture in Australia often seems as ecologically destructive as growing
wheat. The image that winegrowers are nature-loving,  ecologically-aware
types often seems misplaced.

Harry Clarke.

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