California Wine Country has a “Cab-Bear-ney Franc” grape thief

Written by on October 2, 2019 in Critters vs Humans vs Critters - No comments

A California vineyard knew it had a trespasser with very good taste.

Night after night, a thief was barging past the fences at Chappellet Winery in Saint Helena and gorging on its Cabernet Franc crops. The intruder was leaving a trail of broken wires, empty vines and grapes behind.

That’s when the Napa Valley vineyard decided to really investigate the smash and grab.

The victims of the brazen break-in. Chappellet Winery/Facebook

A camera trap finally captured the very hairy culprit.

“When a California Black Bear gets into your vineyard and starts eating your Grapes you must realize just how beary great your fruit is!” the vineyard posted on Facebook.

A bear with great taste. Chappellet Winery/Facebook

“Yep, that’s right this guy has been climbing over a seven foot fence to have a midnight snack of our Cabernet Franc grapes,” the winery added.

Organic grapes worth climbing for. Chappellet Winery/Facebook

The folks at Chappellet don’t really mind — and aren’t really worried, but the bear does keep breaking the fence.

So a diversion plan was hatched.

Black bears love fruit. Chappellet Winery/Facebook

Staff members fixed the fence and placed mounds of grapes outside the fence to keep the bear happy — and the fence intact.

“It has worked so far, he didn’t come back last night,” the winery added.

The camera also snapped images of a fox and a bobcat.

“Last night’s visitor was quite a bit smaller than our Cab-Bear-ney ‘Franc,’ Chappellet posted on Monday.

The bobcat was completely uninterested in the grapes left for the hungry bear.

A bobcat cruises by loads of grapes left for the bear. Chappellet Winery/Facebook

“We love living and working alongside nature and animals,” the winery added. “Lucky us to live near such beautiful animals.”

Photos Chappellet Winery/Facebook 

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About the Author

Dawn Walton

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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