A wine producer in Bordeaux was shocked to find his vines had been harvested without his knowledge.
"It's laughable. This year isn't going to be good for quality nor volume: we have had such bad weather, hail and now this," lamented Dominique Lafosse, owner of Clos Bourgelat near Cerons.
Several days ago, the unexpected harvest was discovered by Lafosse.
The owner of 13 hectares of vines found that 30 ares of his white grapes (equivalent to three-quarters of an acre) destined for sweet wine had been harvested by machine between Sunday September 29 and Tuesday October 1 – a tractor leaving its tire tracks as evidence.
Thinking perhaps a neighboring winery had mistakenly harvested his crop, he searched for a culprit but to no avail and contacted the police.
However, on Monday, a producer based in a village 10 kilometers away (6 miles) who owns a plot around 800 meters from Lafosse's vineyard called him and admitted that his vineyard manager had picked the parcel erroneously.
"I blew my top. I told him he was not very clever and should change his job if he was going to get the position of the vineyard wrong by 800 meters," said Lafosse.
He has arranged for the perpetrator to compensate him for the loss of around 600 bottles of wine, worth approximately 5,000 euros ($6,788).