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Winemaker to harvest in the nude

Dec. 16, 2012 at 2:44 PM

BALLANDEAN, Australia, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- In an effort to revive an ancient ritual, an Australian winemaker says he plans on harvesting some of his grapes during a full moon -- in the nude.

Mike Hayes, of Queensland, has been studying 4,000-year-old wine-making techniques as part of a Churchill Fellowship, The (Brisbane) Sunday Mail reported Sunday.

Hayes said the first record of nude harvesting and crushing of the fruit with bare feet for wine came from Georgia, the birthplace of wine-making.

"I don't know if it will work, but I'm certainly going to give it a shot," Hayes, from the Symphony Hill Wines on the Granite Belt, said. "The ancients believed the moon drew energy from the grapes and goodness from the soil -- just as the moon pulls the tides."

Hayes said he will harvest a crop of nebbiolo, an Italian red wine grape, in April in the nude. And, for authenticity, Hayes will ferment the wine in clay amphora pots that he will bury underground.

"There will be no preservatives or additives whatsoever," Hayes said.

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