Baboons prefer South African pinot noir
Saturday 20 March 2010
According to Decanter, a prestigious wine magazine and site, baboons have been eating up over 40% of the harvest-ready grapes at local wineries in the Franschhoek Valley of South Africa.
The 50+ baboons have been ravaging local vineyards in search for food since bushfires destroyed their regular sources.
Mark Dendy-Young, manager of La Petite Ferme, told Decanter, "The baboons seem to know exactly when to eat these slowly ripening berries. A week before we are able to harvest they tuck in. They don't seem to eat them green."
He continued, "The problem has been worse this year as they eat two to three tonnes over a week, approximately 2000 bottles" or 40% of his harvest.
The baboons prefer pinot noir, Clayton Reabow, winemaker at Moreson Wines explained, "Pinot Noir vineyards situated on high slopes have particular problems. The situation is worse than people may think".
Dendy-Young added, "What we harvest has to be of such great quality that it will mature in the best oak and command high prices."
This year's South African pinot noir harvest could be remarkable and expensive if the baboons stop eating all of the best grapes.
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