Friday, September 07, 2018

Hand harvesting

Each year, when the grape harvest gets under way, we see several parcels out back that are harvested by hand rather than by machine. I noticed some manual harvesting going on Thursday, so I grabbed the camera and took a few shots out the window.

About a dozen people worked one of the parcels out behind our house on Thursday.

There's not much to see from this distance (I used a long zoom lens), but the workers use pruning shears to cut the grape bunches from the vines, they fill up buckets and, when the buckets are full, someone takes them to the truck and empties them into larger containers. It's quite a process to see when they get a rhythm going.

These are not happy tourists enjoying a day's outing picking grapes. They're mostly itinerant workers, maybe even immigrants, hired seasonally at what I'm assuming are basic wages. We see some of them (or at least their trucks) every year. Some of the workers also come in winter to help gather the cuttings from pruned vines.


  1. Is the hand-harvesting done for economic reasons, access, or are wines from hand-picked grapes a specialty?

  2. At least some of the itinerant agricultural workers, although don't know if it applies to grapes, come from countries like Senegal.

  3. LOL, just noticed your Newsiness comment. I read elsewhere that the way of DC is to look for whoever protests against the whatever the loudest -- that's who's responsible.

  4. mitch, strangely, I don't know! It's not access, but it might have something to do with the AOP process.

    emm, I think many are Romanian in origin.


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