As the days grow shorter and leaves start to turn golden, the grapes that will soon be this year’s wine, are deftly plucked from the steep slopes of Lavaux’s world-famous terraced vineyards.
The near vertical slopes in some places make harvesting a challenge. The careful work is done by hand. Grape carriages running up through the terraces on narrow tracks are the only mechanical assistance.
Local video producer Tony Johnston captured this year’s harvest trains in action in the short video below, which he has dubbed Switzerland’s Grape Escape.
After mounting the camera on the train at the bottom, Tony had to scurry up after it to make sure it didn’t end up in the grape sorting bin. If you look closely you’ll spot him with his dog Lexie.
In case you were wondering, the camera was fine, and Lexie wasn’t even slightly puffed.
This year’s harvest is looking very promising. Harvesting in Lavaux started around a week earlier than normal. François Montet, the president of the region’s wine federation described the harvest as “juste magnifique”. A long spell of hot weather over the summer kept the vinegar flies away – the fly attacks grapes as they ripen.
In addition, the region was spared the catastrophic hail storms that destroyed many of the grapes in Valais.