Mother Nature’s most elegant insect, the monarch butterfly, is in desperate need of help and the Cutchogue-based Coffee Pot Cellars are choosing to act. The winery recently announced their new Merlot for Monarchs campaign, a project that helps restore the habitats of these beautiful butterflies.
Throughout 2018, for every bottle of Merlot sold, Coffee Pot Cellars will fund the planting of a new milkweed plant, the only food source for newly hatched caterpillars, on Blossom Meadow Farm, an organization dedicated to raising healthy pollinators. They’ll also be working with Girl Scouts earning their Silver and Gold Awards to plant milkweed throughout Long Island each June.
The founder of Blossom Meadow Farm, and co-owner of Coffee Pot Cellars, Laura Klahre notes in the press release that the monarch population has declined by more than 80% over the last two decades. Environmental factors include “intensifying agriculture, development of rural lands and the use of mowing and herbicides to control roadside vegetation.”
Klahre created the Merlot for Monarchs campaign with the help of her husband, Adam Suprenant, winemaker/co-owner of Coffee Pot Cellars. Suprenant said, “Long Island is a critical part of the monarch butterfly’s summer breeding range. With the Merlot for Monarchs program, we are working to ensure a future for the monarch butterfly.” Even their 10-year-old pug Beasley will be wearing butterfly wings in adorable solidarity.
As a constant reminder of what they’re fighting for, the Coffee Pot Cellars Tasting Room will display little monarch caterpillars, munching on milkweed with their small but powerful mandibles, as well as butterflies in their cocoons. Each day, the first person to purchase a bottle of merlot gets to release the newly emerged butterflies into the wind. A video of this can be seen on the Coffee Pot Cellars below.