10 September 2016


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.


  1. Is it only the mechanical harvesting that has to wait the official go ahead, and you can hand pick your grapes whenever you feel like?

    1. The growers who produce wines labeled AOC or AOP have to respect more restrictions than others, I'm sure. The prefecture is the authority that officially lifts the ban des vendanges and allows the harvest to start on a specific date. Growers can always request a dérogation (exception) to the rule, and it will be considered by the people who control the appellation. It all seems very complex to me, with lots of regulations and bureaucracy to be dealt with.

    2. As you say, very complicated. Pourquoi faire simple....

  2. Do you find it very difficult to walk past them and not pick just a couple to taste? :)


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?