Over more than six decades of farming grapes in Mendocino County, Charlie Barra has developed some strong opinions about what it takes to grow healthy grapes without pesticides and chemicals. He’s also become conviced that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) have no place in his vineyard because, as he clearly states “we don’t need ’em”.
The debate about the impact of GMOs on local environments and on human health rages on with nearly everyone waiting to see what can be learned from long term studies. The effect of GMO’s on Mendocino can not be studied, thanks to a 2004 ban on their use in the county, an effort that was sponsored by a group of organic farmers that included Charlie and the Barra Family. Perhaps in its place there might be a study of the benefits that have come from the decades of pesticide and chemical free grape growing that has taken place on the more than 200 acres of land that the Barra’s farm. You can read read about Mendocino’s effort and find a review of known affects of GMO’s here.
Here’s Charlie on moving Mendocino to GMO free status:
I filmed this short video with Charlie in 2008 or 9 during his visit to Chicago. I repost it here in part because our good friends at Green Grocer Chicago are working to provide their customers with a selection of products grown without GMO’s. The Green Grocer team has sold as much Girasole Wines as any store in Chicago thanks to the support of the entire staff. Many thanks, Green Grocers. Here is one more reason to suggest them to your clients!