California 'Water Witches' Will Bring Us Our Wine

Illustration for article titled California 'Water Witches' Will Bring Us Our Wine

California is currently laboring under a brutal drought. It's not just a regional problem, either, considering how much of the nation's food the state produces. And so many farmers—including the Bronco Wine Co., makers of Two Buck Chuck—are turning to dowsers, a.k.a. "water witches."


Where's your Jesus with his wine miracles now, huh?

According to the AP, dowsers use "divining rods" made of copper or wood and also a "natural energy" to hunt water. Scientists disapprove, insisting the practice has zero scientific basis and that "in many areas water would be hard to miss." But desperate times call for desperate measures:

The nation's fourth-largest wine maker, Bronco Wine Co., says it uses dowsers on its 40,000 acres of California vineyards, and dozens of smaller farmers and homeowners looking for wells on their property also pay for dowsers. Nationwide, the American Society of Dowsers, Inc. boasts dozens of local chapters, which meet annually at a conference.

"It's kind of bizarre. Scientists don't believe in it, but I do and most of the farmers in the Valley do," said Marc Mondavi, a dowser and Napa Valley vineyard owner. He commands $500 per site visit, and this year he's even harnessing a little synergy by launching a line of wines dubbed "The Divining Rod." See him in action:

You may now return to your regularly scheduled program of requesting California wine recommendations from this Shiba Inu sommelier.

Photo via AP Images.



At least it's dowsers they're hiring and not Hatfield the Rainmaker again. . . (One of the more amusing bits of local history.)

Oh Mister Hatfield, you've been good to us:
You've made it rain in ways promiscuous!
From Saugus down to San Diego's Bay
They bless you for the rains of yesterday.
But Mister Hatfield, listen now;
Make us this vow:
Oh, please, kind sir, don't let it rain on Monday!

And other doings full of fun and glee
For New Year's Day are planned abundantly
From Saugus down to San Diego's Bay
And they will bless you on tomorrow's day,
Great moistener, if you will listen now
And make this vow:
Oh, please, kind sir, don't let it rain on Monday!*