PRAIRIE DU SAC (WKOW) -- It's said the only unsightly thing in a winery are weeds and Wollersheim is using an innovative way to kill these pests.
Philippe Coquard, co-owner and winemaker at Wollersheim Winery said, "We finally settled on using steam as a way to kill weeds."
Although the concept of steam as a utility was around before the first grapes were planted here in the 1840s. Coquard said this machine is ground-breaking. "The high temperature burns the cell of the green tissue and kills the weeds. It's just a different way of doing things and that I'm looking forward to, you know, break the mold."
A slow-moving tractor carrying a generator with 300 gallons of boiling water disperse steam through hoods, all using a certain kind of water, that the winery collects.
"We are using rainwater, we cannot use well water because there's too much calcium. It's it is not a green concept. It's quite a costly experiment. But it's looking ahead looking into the future," said Coquard.
Philipe hopes this new system leads to pesticide-free grapes at Wollersheim Winery. "Our goal is to have 30 acres of chemical free for weed killers. It's looking very promising, very happy with what we have done."
Wollersheim Winery is open on the 4th and wines made from the plants treated with steam will be available this fall.