Since 1st of January this year, it has become significantly more expensive in France to hire seasonal workers in the vineyard because of increased employer contributions. In Champagne producers have even begun to discuss the possibilities to start harvesting by machine to avoid hiring temporary workers.
All vineyards today are harvested by hand in Champagne. It says in the rules of the appellation that the grapes must be put uncrushed into the press.
With machine harvesting it is very difficult to avoid crushing at least some of the grapes. Today there are machines that are able to keep a large portion of the grapes intact, but not all. www.lavigne-mag.fr
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