The harvesting machine today replaces hand harvesting in many places around the world. And harvesting machines are not only for simple wines. Small, efficient and gentle machines are also seen in densely planted vineyards where the grapes end up in prestigious wines. More and more grapes are harvested with machine. Today it is around 60%.
But for many wine producers harvesting by hand is the only option. Because of the rules of the appellation or because of their own philosophy. So far, manual harvesting in France has been exempt from certain social security payments. This is to make it easier to hire people during the short time of the harvest. It also makes it possible for people who already have a job to harvest grapes during their vacation without having to pay double social security contributions.
Now the French government is threatening to take away those benefits starting from next year. You can imagine the protests from the wine producers. Read more on vitisphere.com.
This post is also available in: Swedish