Springtime Brings Flowers and Sheep to King Estate Winery

May 07 2011

Springtime at King Estate Winery brings flowers and sheep

With springtime comes new growth throughout the King Estate property. Our apple and plum trees have begun to flower, and the mustard and grass in the vineyard have been growing quickly. That’s where the sheep come in. King Estate uses sheep as natural lawn mowers. They enjoy munching on fresh shoots of grass and weeds, and we enjoy the fact that we don’t have to run tractors through the vines to trim the unwanted growth. In the process, the sheep also naturally fertilize the vines and help us reduce our carbon footprint.

    • Margot Alice

      I’ve been looking for specific information on using sheep in viticulture. I breed Classic Cheviots (AKA Miniature Cheviots) in Duvall, Washington. I’ve heard it mentioned that Babydoll Southdown sheep are often used in vineyards, but they have some drawbacks that Classic Cheviots do not have (thick wool that grows in hard-to-remove places, like around eyes, necessitating frequent cutting or shearing to prevent “wool blindness and other problems), and broad heads that make for frequent lambing difficulties. Classic Cheviots are “clean faced” and “clean legged”, lamb with ease, are excellent mothers, and are an amazingly hardy and easy-care breed. It seems to me that the small sheep I have would be ideal in vineyards… do you have any thoughts on this?

    • Margot Alice

      I’ve been looking for specific information on using sheep in viticulture. I breed Classic Cheviots (AKA Miniature Cheviots) in Duvall, Washington. I’ve heard it mentioned that Babydoll Southdown sheep are often used in vineyards, but they have some drawbacks that Classic Cheviots do not have (thick wool that grows in hard-to-remove places, like around eyes, necessitating frequent cutting or shearing to prevent “wool blindness and other problems), and broad heads that make for frequent lambing difficulties. Classic Cheviots are “clean faced” and “clean legged”, lamb with ease, are excellent mothers, and are an amazingly hardy and easy-care breed. It seems to me that the small sheep I have would be ideal in vineyards… do you have any thoughts on this?

    • Margot Alice

      I’ve been looking for specific information on using sheep in viticulture. I breed Classic Cheviots (AKA Miniature Cheviots) in Duvall, Washington. I’ve heard it mentioned that Babydoll Southdown sheep are often used in vineyards, but they have some drawbacks that Classic Cheviots do not have (thick wool that grows in hard-to-remove places, like around eyes, necessitating frequent cutting or shearing to prevent “wool blindness and other problems), and broad heads that make for frequent lambing difficulties. Classic Cheviots are “clean faced” and “clean legged”, lamb with ease, are excellent mothers, and are an amazingly hardy and easy-care breed. It seems to me that the small sheep I have would be ideal in vineyards… do you have any thoughts on this?