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Spotlight on France

French wineries have trouble finding grape harvesters

Audio 10:43
Grape harvesters near Colmar, in eastern France. Most of the porters are employees of the winery, while the cutters are seasonal workers.
Grape harvesters near Colmar, in eastern France. Most of the porters are employees of the winery, while the cutters are seasonal workers. RFI/Sarah Elzas

It’s grape harvest season across France, but winemakers have been struggling to find enough people to do the work. Gone are the days of harvest parties, with friends and family members picking grapes and crushing them with their feet (they’re now crushed in mechanical presses). Today winemaking is more professional, and wineries now call on seasonal workers. But with spread-out harvest days, it is not easy to find people, even if the harvest remains a festive event in France.

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