Lower Lake, CA – Clay Shannon of Shannon Ridge Family of Wines is getting creative in dealing with the shortage of vineyard labor on the California North Coast. This past weekend Shannon moved 400 head of eager sheep onto Vigilance Vineyards to take care of business.
The sheep are an important component in the vineyard program for all of Shannon Ridge Family of Wines’ 1,500 acres. The flock is continually rotated throughout the vineyards, cleaning up debris in the fall, giving birth in winter under the watchful eye of vigilant guard dogs, all the while reducing the need for gas-powered mowers by a whopping 500 percent and greatly reducing the use of herbicides. Fire protection is an important added bonus, thanks to the sheep clearing the surrounding area of dry grasses and leaves.
“Lack of labor? No worries,” says Shannon. In the coming weeks the sheep will concentrate on removing lower leaves and eliminating weak shoots, helping to expose the grapes to greater sunlight and air circulation. Left behind is a healthy serving of fertilizer from the wooly composters, improving the vitality of the vines in preparation for the 2017 harvest.
Available in all 50 states, Shannon Ridge Family of Wines creates top-quality and affordable wines that consumers love, including Buck Shack, Cross Springs, Dalliance, High Valley, Playtime, Vigilance Vineyards, Shannon Ridge and Shannon Reserve.
About Shannon Ridge Family of Wines
The Shannon family is committed to preserving their land, not only for the great vineyard sites, but for the many wild creatures that also call the mountain property home. Of their approximately 3,000 acres, only about 50 percent have been planted to vines. The vineyards were carefully planned, leaving corridors open to migrating animals and protecting sensitive nesting areas. The balance of the land has been preserved for the wildlife which wanders through the property from the expansive wilderness areas adjoining the ranches.