Long gone are the days when animals were used as “laborers” on wineries. I’m not sure why that came to mind the other day when I was thinking about the recent New Buffalo Harvest Wine & Food Festival.
It probably was just because of the name of the host city — New BUFFALO, Michigan. And, perhaps, because among the activities at the family-friendly fest were horse-drawn hayrides.
Although no longer counted upon to provide “power” in the vineyards, animals still play an important role in the world of wine — specifically, in the vineyard.
Among the animals that are used to help control pests and cultivate vineyards are falcons, owls, chickens, sheep and bats.
And let’s not forget the winery dogs, many of whom serve as “official greeters” for visitors to the tasting rooms.
Paul Simon once wrote, “It’s all happening at the zoo,” but there’s a good deal of animal life on California wine estates as well.
P.S.: To check out all the activities at this year’s New Buffalo Harvest Wine & Food Festival, click here (http://www.newbuffalo.org/events/harvest-wine-fest-in-new-buffalo.html). It may motivate you to make plans to attend the 2014 fest.