soil erosion, shifting or removal of soil by wind or running water. Wind erosion is fairly uncommon in established vineyards, because the vines themselves constitute an effective windbreak at ground level, although it can be a problem in young vineyards. Driving sand, in particular, can seriously injure young vines, and there can in addition be irreparable loss of the most valuable topsoil. The danger can be minimized by growing cover crops such as rye, which act as windbreaks as well as directly binding the soil. More recently, vine guards have been used to protect young vines from sand blasting.