Symington announces new modern grape harvester while Rathfinny delights in being old school
Symington, the Port producer, announced this week that it had reached a major milestone in its seven-year development program to invent a grape harvester to pick grapes on terraced vineyards.
Terraced vineyards, with precipitous drops on one side of the vines, make it dangerous to use typical machine harvesters. There is always a large risk the harvesters would simply slip off the side of the terrace.
This year they harvested 45ha of vineyard with the new harvester. The project to develop the harvester was to help manage the declining availability of grape pickers.
Meanwhile, here in the UK, Rathfinny has used its local community to come out as pickers so they do not have to rely on gangs of workers who typically come to the UK for fruit harvesting. Rathfinny had 200 pickers, most of them locals, to help them harvest their grapes.