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Reducing Pollution on Wine Grapes

Nikki Winkel

Did you know ATV’s release up to 30% of their gas and oil unburned into the air and soil? This is especially concerning for ATV for farm work around produce and vineyards. These products can absorb into the skin of the grapes and can even make their way into the final product. There is a long-term effect of the gas and oil on both the quality and yield of wine grapes. To prevent this loss, there is a simple switch your vineyard or orchard can make to preserve your produce.

The wine industry faces increasing challenges with air pollution and wineries. Specifically places in California have greater pollution compared to other parts of the U.S. with the addition of smoke from California’s wildfire season.

Pie chart comparison of 2 stroke ATV engines vs modern car engines release of gas.
Emissions of ATV Engines

Vehicles play a large role in the increase of air pollution and according to Earth Island Institute “… nineteen percent of ATVs are equipped with two-stroke engines, which release up to 30% of their fuel unburned into the air… 118 times as much smog-forming pollutants as modern cars.” Driving gas ATV’s on and through vineyards has adverse effects.

When up to 30% of the gasoline from your vehicle is being released unburned, into both the air and soil, it is clear to see why this would cause alarm to food producers. The gasoline that is released into the air is able to absorb and stay in the skin of the grape. When the grapes get crushed, that gas and oil can make its way into the final product, affecting the taste of the wine.

This adverse effect can be completely eliminated by the use of electric all-terrain vehicles like those produced by DRR USA, you can find more information about the best ATV for farm use on

Nature Food conducted a new study that finds “improvements in air quality over the agriculturally-rich state of California in the last 35 years have also boosted yields of perennial crops like wine grapes.” Removing the exposure to the exhaust from vehicles has a simple solution of switching to electric all-terrain vehicles.

While wildfire smoke affects the fruit to a much greater extent than it affects the vines long term, the vines are more susceptible to harm from ozone depletion. An article titled “Grapevine and Ozone: Uptake and Effects” outlines the relationship, “The grapevine (Vitis vinifera, L.) has been long since recognized as an ozone-sensitive plant. Ozone molecules can penetrate grapevine leaf tissues when the concentration of ozone in the atmosphere is high due to air pollution. This causes cell damage and interferes with photosynthetic mechanisms, subsequently slowing down plant growth and resulting in premature leaf senescence. Secondary effects include changes in biochemical processes that affect the chemical composition of the must and are likely to alter the quality of the wine.”

All measures taken to decrease the pollution of vines, and the pollution entering the ozone, have a positive effect on plant yield and quality. Nature Food attempted to quantify the yield of wine grapes lost to pollution and they claim that “the researchers calculated that crop yields [of California ] that are currently sacrificed to pollution represent over $1 billion in lost income there each year.”

Making the switch to DRR USA’s electric all-terrain vehicles as a farm quad is a simple way to eliminate the exposure to exhaust without compromising the quality or longevity.

For other articles and information on DRR USA’s electric ATV’s visit:


Source: Hong et. al. “Impacts of ozone and climate change on yields of perennial crops in California.” Nature Food, 2020.


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