Is that a rocket in your pocket?

Producing delectable wine making grapes requires protecting vines from meteorological menaces like hail. Of course, it isn’t easy to defend yourself from the sky unless you
happen to be Swiss.

Since the 18th Century, Swiss farmers have stood ready to confront brooding storm clouds with a first strike capability of rockets kept ready at strategic points. One Swiss farmer, Ernst Spoehel explains: You can see the front coming, and when you have the feeling that danger is near, you start to shoot. And not just once! Having lived in Switzerland for 2+ years, I can attest to watching dozens of rockets streak into the heavens near the shores of Lake Geneva, exploding amongst the clouds in an attempt to subdue the icy threat. The rockets are
fitted with packets of silver iodide, which in theory causes moisture to crystallize into small bits of ice that fall harmlessly to the ground, before it can form larger more destructive hail. Who knew a bottle of wine could have such a history of violence behind it?


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