Wine is often considered to be an acquired taste but if your looking for an alternative tipple this summer then a bottle of elephant vintage could be the order of the day.
Here in the South African outback one winery have decided to stretch the boundaries of traditional wine making by employing a new member of staff.
Meet Harry - the world's first elephant grape crusher.
A big crush: Boplaas Winery in South Africa use Harry the Elephant to crush grapes
Weighing in at 3.5 tonnes African bull elephant Harry has been specially trained to crush thousands of juicy grapes.
Standing in front of a large metal trough 12 ft tall Harry crushes hundred's of grapes in one fowl thrust with his 2 ft wide feet.
Ironically the unusual idea arose between two friends over a bottle of red.
'I was sitting with Ian Withers (owner of Knysna Elephant Park where Harry resides) drinking a few glasses of wine and began explaining the traditional method of grape crushing that has existed for thousands of years,' explains Carel Nel, wine master for the Boplaas vineyard and the man who had the 'big idea'.
'It was then that we realised that an elephant, the heaviest land animal, had never done this kind of work before, so we decided to test it out.' Surprisingly for elephant conservationist Ian and his team at Knysna Elephant Park, 22-year-old Harry had an instant talent for his new job.
'Harry has been around humans for so long that he responds to our requests very readily,' explains Ian.
'He totally understands 'foot up, foot forward and foot down' because we have to check his feet every day and therefore it was very simple to get him to crush up the grapes.' Before the treading takes place, Harry's feet are washed and sterilised and then dried on a towel laid out in front of the trough which held the grapes.
'Harry understood what was going on very quickly,' says Ian.
Harry's feet are sterilised before he crushes the grapes
'The only problem that we could have encountered was that Harry had a slight problem understanding why we were not eating the delicious grapes.' Carel's Boplaas Winery, lies in the world renowned Calitzdorp winery region of South Africa.
Grapes are driven the 75 miles from Calitzdorp, in the Cape winery region to the elephant sanctuary in Knysna, which is on the Cape coast.
Costing 32 rand a bottle (£2), 2008 Boplass Elephant vintage the wine was produced in February of this year and is on limited sale at the vineyard and elephant park.
'The wine itself has piqued everybody's interest,' says 50-year-old Ian.
'Some people have expressed mixed emotions about the way that we have asked Harry to make the wine. But they would not be doing their job if they didn't object to any animal in captivity.'
'We will do it every year to highlight the issue of elephant conservation.' Knysna Elephant Park, is home to ten elephants like Harry who were rescued from culls that are periodically carried out in reserves such as the famous Kruger National Park.
Office pet: Harry gets spoilt by his co-workers
Carel and Ian hope to make the 2008 Boplass Elephant vintage the first of many as they look to promote the work done by Ian Withers and his staff at the Knysna Elephant Park.
So much so that Carel, his wife Jeanne, 50, and their three children Rozane, 26, Margaux, 22, and Daniel, 17, have been worked off their feet as the family run vineyard copes with the demand.
'It has provoked interest here and abroad, especially in the Netherlands.' says 50-year-old Carel.
'Judging by the success of this year we will definitely be making this a yearly thing.' Unless Harry eats all the grapes before he gets the chance to crush them that is.
A vintage idea: Elephant Harry recruited to crush grapes at South Africa Winery | Mail Online