Mountain Dew, soap, balloons? Are these the contents of a college dorm room? Nope, they are the tools of the trade employed by Trout Springs Winery, located in Greenleaf, Wisconsin, to ward off vineyard pests. The Green Bay Press Gazette profiles winery owner Steve DeBaker's novel attempts to protect his grapes. Mountain Dew is set out to distract bees from his crop. Bars of soap are hung at the end of rows to dissuade deer from feasting on grapes.
And when it comes to birds? DeBaker fights "terror with terror", employing hawk-like balloons and computerized sounds that simulate "little birds being murdered."
Some of the hybrid grapes you'll find at Trout Springs Winery? Marechal Foch, Leon Millot, St. Croix, St. Peppin, La Crosse, and Swenson's Red. And if you're looking for fruit--even vegetable--wine, this Brown County winery has got you covered: Door County cherry, Asian pear, elderberry/blackberry, crab apple, dandelion, corn, and rose hip.