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Video: Using music to boost grape harvest

11-11-2012 19:20 BJT

Can you enjoy music if you don't have ears? People have long talked to their plants in the belief that it is beneficial to their growth. Now wine producers in South Africa are taking plant talking to a new level. They're serenading grapes to improve the flavor and relax the vine.

Anyone for a glass of Vivaldi?

This vineyard in Stellenbosch claims the grapes are soothed by the sounds of classical music. Demorgenzon Estate has taken an innovative approach to making their wines stand out in what is a competitive industry. Here, baroque music has been played to the vineyards 24/7 for 3 years.

The winemaker claims that as a result he has a longer period in which to harvest.

Carl Van Der Merwe with Demorgenzon Wine Estate said, "As a winemaker I’m looking for optimal ripeness as opposed to under-ripeness or over-ripeness, and this normally happens in our hot climate, in a very small window. So when this window is made bigger it gives me more flexibility to pick the fruit and to have an optimally ripe wine at the end of the day."

Little research has been carried out to understand the ways in which music aids plant growth. And some remain skeptical.

Dr. Albert Strever with University of Stellenbosch, said, "It is derived mostly, the perception, which in some cases sound more like folklore that comes from early days, is more from other plants, and towards other studies and then sometimes a direct conclusion is made from these studies which I don’t think is always applicable."

Science aside, Demorgenzon did received good reviews from prominent magazine, Wine Spectator.

Around 60 percent of Demorgenzon’s red wine production comes from the Syrah grape and it’s been singled out for its good value, selling in the USA for around 15 dollars a bottle.


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