MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — You might think about popping open a bottle of wine and enjoying some pleasant summer days ahead. One vineyard in the Poconos claims you can taste the difference at their sustainable winery.
Mountain View Vineyard, Winery, and Brewery, nestled on a hill near Stroudsburg, is owned and operated by Linda and Randy Rice. The husband and wife team started the business more than 10 years ago. Randy describes it as a hobby gone wild.
"We cleared a spot big enough to put 250 vines in, and that spring, I took my Easter vacation, and my wife and I, with a post hole digger, put in 250 vines," he recalled.
This winery is different from most in terms of both terrain and operation.
"We operate on a very minimal basis -- minimal in the chemicals on our land and in our winemaking," Rice said.
Not spraying the vineyard with chemicals leaves the rows of vines open to weed growth, but Randy doesn't see that as a problem.
"A lot of this is milkweed, things that actually attract pollinators into our vineyard."
It's not just the vineyard that's eco-friendly. The winery building is heated and cooled with a geothermal system.
"It really saves nicely on the electric bill, but even more so, that just means there's less of a carbon footprint."
There are also several rain gardens that capture runoff from the vineyard and protect a small brook across the street.
"If you just let things happen without all those poisons, it's kind of the way God had it planned. Things prosper, grow really well, healthy, and you don't affect the pollinators."