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Minervois Machine Harvest of Carignan Grapes

Natalie Trent

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The grape harvest is almost complete here in the Minervois wine region of the Languedoc-Roussillon and I got to witness, and even help with this vineyard's machine harvest.This method tends to be the most common for most of the varietals in the region, especially for the newer vines, as they are spaced machine distance apart when planted.

These Carignan grape vines near the bridge on the way out of Azille are being harvest this way, in a 1/2 hectare field! The expert vignerons (Parra et al) tell me that it takes about 2 hours a hectare to remove all the grapes with this giant shaking machine. 2 large snake-like metal hands moving rapidly together while gliding down the vines, knocking the grapes into bins hanging from either side.

Then the bins are dumped into the awaiting tractor trailer to be wisked off to the local cooperative and turned into the lovely glass of wine we enjoy!

And here I am taking my turn at driving, 6 rows at a time before dumping the bins; being careful not to cause the green alarm lights to scream brightly at me...but no worries if they do, as I need only to tweek the stearing wheel towards the glowing green to straighten it up and continue down the lane!

Next: hand harvesting old vineyard Carignan.

Driving Harvest Machine in the Minervois Picking Carignan

Carignan grapes to be harvested in the Minervois

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