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The 2013 harvest begins in France and Spain

Published:  21 August, 2013

This week marks the start of the 2013 harvest in Europe, with the vineyards in Tenerife, Spain in the Canary Islands and Roussillon region in France, reports

Roussillon, which is the most southern region in mainland France, traditionally is the first region in France to have producers start picking. The weather in the region helps tremendously to allow for early ripening, but the region also grows an early-ripening grape, Muscat. The harvest began 10 to 15 days later than normal this year due to the long winter and cooler spring.

"We're really late, but it's not serious," said Catherine Jeannin, owner of Mas Crémat. In contrast, producers in Burgundy are predicting that the harvest will not most likely begin until, at the very earliest, the last days of September.

Similar to Roussillon, vineyards on Tenerife are traditionally the first to be harvested in Spain and this year's crop is looking to be about a third larger than the 2012 crop. The 2013 harvest is remarkably different as well in the sense that it is serving to lower unemployment in the local economy and with Spain's unemployment hovering above 25%, this is good news.  

Immigrants have been relied on heavily in the past, but this year's harvest is seeing fewer immigrants and more local people are working, primarily for financial reasons.