Winery, landscaper team up with R-Phils for lanternfly fight


Behind the peace and serenity of Clover Hill Vineyard and Winery, a war is being waged against the spotted lanternfly.

"This year, we're seeing a diminished crop in part because of the lanternfly," said John Skrip III, Clover Hill's vice president. "It's like pushing water up hill."

Skrip said the pest has affected the winery's bottom line as a company, ruining grapes at its headquarters in Upper Macungie Township, Lehigh County, and at its vineyard in North Heidelberg Township, Berks County.

Clover Hill said, after applying pesticides and treating the grounds, the next step it can take is to - so to speak - bat the pest out of the park by partnering with the Reading Fightin Phils for Spotted Lanternfly Awareness Night. Clover Hill officials will be on hand at the scheduled doubleheader, along with representatives of Anewalt's Landscape Contracting, to talk to fans about the pest.

"Just to make it known it is an invasive pest," Skrip said. "It does affect other than just being around your home."

The first 2,000 fans 15 and over will also walk away with a spotted lanternfly t-shirt.

"We try to think of ourselves as the place the community comes," said Scott Hunsicker, the Fightin Phils' general manager. "Lonnie Walker was back in town, so we wanted to have Lonnie Walker here. In this case, there's an issue with the spotted lanternfly. We want to update people as to where we are in that battle."

As far as where Clover Hill is in that battle, the owners said they have the guidance of Penn State researchers and they have reason to be cautiously optimistic.

"This year, we're not quite seeing the amount that we saw at this particular time last year," said Skrip.