Not only are tomatoes ripening all around, but so are grapes. We are anticipating the beginning of the harvest any day now. Walt already saw a group of people harvesting grapes by hand (vendanges manuelles) in one vineyard plot a few days ago.
Most of the harvesting done around here is "mechanical" — it's done not by crews of vineyard workers but by machine, the way corn and other crops are harvested.
Grape-growers are not free to start harvesting any time they want to. They wait for local and national authorities to give the go-ahead. Weather has a lot to do with fixing the date for lifting the "ban" on harvesting every year.
The big mechanical harvesters will be out there soon, and the harvest will take only a few days. Some grape varieties are taken in earlier than others. I'm sure the growers are anxious to get started, because we are seeing predictions of rain for the middle of next week.