Practicing Creativity

The Grape Harvest Has Begun in France & Switzerland

The vendange – grape harvest – has already begun in Southern France, three weeks in advance, with Northern France and Switzerland soon to follow. France's grape harvest has traditionally started in September, but increasing temperatures due to climate change are seeing harvests pushed forward into August. We've had record high temperatures in France and Switzerland this year.

This vineyard is in the Canton de Genève, Switzerland right on the border with France, not far from our home. My husband and I sometimes walk by it and on a recent promenade I noticed the grapes were getting ready. It could be by the time I post this they've been harvested. Most Americans don't associate Switzerland with wine, but they should. Switzerland has some lovely wines, especially Gamaret reds, one of my favorites. Gamaret is similar to a Pinot Noir, but with a fuller, smoother taste. Much better, in my humble opinion.

When the harvest is near you see signs like the one below, warning you to keep out of the vineyard (see more agriculture signs in this Swiss Agriculture Signs post). Grape theft is a serious problem in France and is becoming more common in Switzerland, too. We're not talking a few plucked grapes here, but swathes of vineyards picked clean. In areas like Burgundy, bike police are now patrolling vineyards at night to catch perpetrators. Stealing grapes will get you more than just a slap on the hand; punishment can be up to three years in prison and a €45,000 fine.


  1. Look at those delicious grapes....I can see how they would tempt people (not that they should be stealing - that's terrible!). I'm not much of a wine drinker....mostly because of my cheap tendencies and ignorance. I think that if I had my own personal sommelier, (and unlimited funds) I could really enjoy wine. (:

  2. Grape stealing--what else?!?!? A hefty fine and punishment it should be!


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