30 September 2014

Watching the parade

The two guys who are harvesting a big part of the Renaudière vineyard continued their work yesterday, and that despite the fact that we got 6 mm — about a quarter of an inch — of rain in the early morning hours. They are still harvesting white wine grapes: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc. The red grapes are waiting patiently.

We watch them, or their big harvester and the tractor pulling the trailer filled with grapes, as they move up and down the rows of vines and as they parade by our house hauling loads of grapes back down to the winery.

With these machines and methods, two people can harvest all the grapes that would otherwise require bringing in dozens or scores of human grape-pickers, and probably in less time and for less money. Mechanization of the harvest makes it possible for local growers to stay in business and make a decent living. Not to mention good wines for reasonable prices.


  1. Your house is well situated for giving us bird's eye views of the harvest excitement. The machines are nice, but took many jobs. I was recently in Northern Virginia and heard that there are many vineyards there now. I've never tasted any VA wine.

  2. Machines vs. migrant workers... a tough trade-off. Walt and I used to go to Va. wineries back in the 1980s and some of the wines were decent.


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