Sacre bleu! Grape thieves fleece France’s vineyards

More than 7 tons of grapes have been stolen from vineyards in France’s wine-growing region of Bordeaux. Police believe the thieves are none other than professional wine vintners.

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.

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