Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Zinfandel

A diocese in Hayward, CA has converted some of their surplus cemetery space into a vineyard, growing Zinfandel, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir grapes. The nearest graves are about 60ft from the grape vines, which would worry me a bit if I was the grower. This is mainly because god knows what embalming fluid and other preservative chemicals might migrate underground through the soil. I would generally think that formaldehyde does not go well with food. Another consideration is how the breakdown of the bodies affects the soil. What nutrition is added? What unusual chemical concentrations are created? A British Environmental Agency report gets into great detail about this, including nice tables like this:

Maybe this will produce some unique wines with unusual flavor qualities. It’s about time the blood of Christ had some competition.

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