AUBURN (CBS13) – An Auburn winery has found an environmentally friendly alternative for mowing its lawns — lambs.

Fawnridge Vineyards and Winery is paring lambs with planting syrah.

“We’re hoping the organic farmer sees this as an alternative to machinery,” said Ann Rains, owner of Honk & BAA Farms.

Gone are the days of mowing, weed eating and chemical pouring.

“We bring the sheep in. We take care of the sheep. The vintner doesn’t have to do anything,” said Rains.

It’s perfect for orchards, vineyards, and any farmer who wants their grass gone the good old fashion way.

“Is this not Tuscany? This is great. People come by and say ‘awe, sheep,’ ” said Rains.

Her farm provides the sheep to the winery.

“The nice thing is they eat between the vines. That’s weed eater work,” said Stephanie Perry.

Perry and her husband turned their plot of Placer County land into a winery about a decade ago.

“We’re very proud of our winery. It’s a mom and pop place and you’re never too old to chase that dream,” she said.

They’re now the first winery in the region to take part in the “rent-a-sheep” program.

“I want to be in a healthy vineyard. I don’t want to be working with chemicals,” said Perry.

Organic, biodynamic, they’re all natural flavors from the ground to the glass.

“We’ve never introduced a wine that has not medaled in international competition. So we’re very proud of that,” said Perry.

What goes in the sheep must come out and nothing goes to waste around Fawnridge. So that will be used as fertilizer.

Once the lambs are finished grazing, geese will come, eat the rest of the grass and leave the coming grapes alone.

Fawnridge is months from becoming the only certified organic winery in Placer County.


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