Sacre bleu! Grape thieves fleece France’s vineyards
The fruitful thefts were carried out by professional vinters after poor weather led to a small yield, the Local reports, citing police.
“There’s a great temptation to help oneself from [the vineyard] next door,” an expert told AFP.
Three vineyards in the area have had grapes robbed, with some wine-loving thieves taking off with entire grape vines.
Six and a half tons of grapes were taken from a Genissac vineyard, in what police called a crime committed by professional vinters. Sud Ouest reports the theft of nearly a hectare could cost €45,000.
A vineyard in Pomerol had up to 700 kg of grapes stolen, and 500 vines were uprooted in a vineyard near Montagne.
The grape thefts come as the country is experiencing the worst wine harvest since 1945, due to a mild March and frosty April.
According to the agriculture ministry, output is expected to be 18 percent down on last year, and 17 percent below the average over five years.