A Long Island winery is working with some Girl Scout volunteers to help the monarch butterfly population on Long Island in a campaign called “Merlot for Monarchs.”
For every bottle of merlot sold at Coffee Pot Cellars in Cutchogue, Blossom Meadow Farm in Southold will grow and donate one butterfly milkweed plant.
Three Girl Scouts from Troop 1988 in Deer Park have volunteered to plant the milkweed on Long Island, says troop leader Brenda Adragna. Monarch butterflies are in decline, and milkweed serves as food for newly hatched caterpillars.
To connect Coffee Pot Cellars patrons with the monarchs, the winery is displaying about 15 monarch caterpillars munching on milkweed and 15 chrysalises of monarchs waiting to emerge.
“The first person to buy a bottle of merlot each day gets to release any newly emerged butterflies. They flutter off your finger into the wind,” says Laura Klahre, co-owner and tasting room manager at Coffee Pot Cellars and owner of Blossom Meadow Farm.
The winery’s 10-year-old pug, Beasley, wears monarch butterfly wings every day at the tasting room in support of the project.
The winery chose the merlot sales to help fund the monarchs because of the alliteration. “It sounds so much better than Chardonnay for Caterpillars,” Klahre says.
A chalkboard shows the tally of merlot bottles purchased as part of the campaign. “Since Aug. 1,176 merlot bottles have been sold,” Klahre says. That’s double the amount of merlot the winery typically would sell in this time period, she says.
Coffee Pot Cellars Tasting Room is at 31855 Main Rd. in Cutchogue. For more information, call 631-765-8929 or visit coffeepotcellars.com.