A common practice when welcoming guests into a Vineyard is to have a “footbath” set up outside the Vineyard where guests are asked to wash/rinse their shoes before entering the Vineyard to wash off or kill any foreign bacteria or bugs. This practice has come about due to a pesky little critta called Phylloxera – a tiny little plant lice that eats the leaves and root of a grapevine. These guys are so small that you are not actually able to see them with the naked eye, but they have the ability to decimate the entire vinicultural and wine industry around the world.
These guys get around! They are able to travel for thousands of Kilometers wreaking havoc across the globe. They hitch a lift using whatever means possible, including people’s vehicles & machinery that move through Vineyards frequently as well as your shoes!
So it is understandable then, given the thousands of hours spent in a Vineyard, working it and producing the perfect crop, that you would be asked to wash your feet before entering a paddock full of vines.
Interestingly though, upon writing this latest episode of my blog, I stumbled across a different kid of footbath!
Did you know that you can actually bath in red wine? And there are health benefits to it!
Caudalie trademarked the term “Vinothérapie”. It is a specialty spa bath that adds red vine leaf extract and post-winemaking grape slush (in posh wine making terms known as marc) to clean warm water. The marc and red vine leaf extract are actually quite high in polyphenols which are bitter tasting organic compounds found in plants that are highly effective antioxidants.
The concept behind this is that if you suspend yourself in this stuff, it will be absorbed into your skin as well as into your body. If it’s actually absorbed, it would be the secret to feeling and looking young. And on top of this, certain polyphenols have shown to stop cancer cells from growing in vitro.
So there you have it! Two types of wine making baths, both with very different purposes, but both just as important as each other!