Bordeaux, France

The Week - - Europe At A Glance -

Grape thefts: Po­lice armed with in­frared cam­eras have stepped up their pa­trols of some of France’s most cel­e­brated vine­yards, fol­low­ing a surge in night-time thefts of grapes – with fel­low vint­ners cast as the prime sus­pects. “The har­vest is dire this year, so given the short­age of grapes, the temp­ta­tion to help your­self from the vine­yard next door is very strong,” said Philippe Bardet of the Bordeaux Wine Coun­cil. “Ev­ery­one’s in dis­tress and in some places, there’s a poi­sonous at­mos­phere of envy and jeal­ousy.” One Bordeaux wine­maker, De­nis Bar­raud of Génis­sac, has lost six tonnes of grapes worth s35,000. Another, Henri Par­ent of the Château Montviel in Pomerol, lost enough grapes in a sin­gle night to make 450 bot­tles. The re­gion is strug­gling with a har­vest that has been about 40% lower than last year, as a re­sult of ru­inous spring frosts and a sum­mer drought.

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