[no_toc]In the last years, the financial crisis has renewed the interest of getting a temporal job in the French Grave Harvest. This kind of work is also attractive for your people, such as students or backpackers.
For example last years (2017), around 15 thousand Spanish people move to France to work in the French grape harvest. And 2018 will not be an exception.
Grape hand picking jobs requires a lot of manpower concentrated in a few months at year, and most of these jobs not require previous experience in agriculture. a exAnd in addition, French grape hand picking is better paid in France than in other European countries, by around 3 more EUR / hour. These two factors make these jobs very attractive for people that need some extra income.
However, get a job in the grape harvest could be difficult, if you don´t speak French at all, and have no idea about where to find information about: job conditions, accommodation, local prices, etc.
People interested in get a job in the grape picking for first time, use internet to find proper information. But sometime, information posted is very general, poor structured, and it´s not easy to find all you need to solve all your doubts about this issue.
This article has the objective, to give you the most complete information possible, guide you, and to solve all your doubts. In case you decide to move to France, and job in the grape harvest. The contents of this guide are the following:
- Preliminary clarifications
- What is the grape harvest?
- The Grape Harvest (“vendange”) in France
- French Wine Regions
- Grape Harvest important dates
- Legal requirement to work
- How can I apply for the French grape harvest jobs?
- Working conditions
- Accommodations and meals
- Where can I find job offers for the grape harvest?
- Convenient clothing for work in the grape harvest
- Materials required to work in the grape harvest
- Potential problems/issue you may have
- French Grape Harvest basic vocabulary
- Additional information
First of all, please let me make clear the following points regarding this issue:
- Find a job in the French grape harvest is QUITE DIFFICULT, and sometimes could be not as good business as it like. Because some contract are quite short in time (sometime not more than 10 working days). And you should consider transportation and accommodation’s costs.
- If you are looking a job on your own, could be more difficult. Cause most job offers are intended for complete working teams, between 8 and 20 people.
- If you don’t speak French at all, and you are not accompanied by someone that speaks almost a little French, forget about to get a job in the grape harvest. Land proprietaries speak only French and you will not be able to communicate with them. And job offers are published only in French.
- Despite still being a strong economy, crisis also affect France. And some French unemployed people, consider also work in the grape harvest and the have preference in the job offers published by “Pôle Emploi” (official job agency), because they are permanent residents in the country. So less foreign manpower may be required.
- People that have worked before in the grape harvest probably will repeat this year 2018. And they have already contact with some land owners. So several jobs will be covered using these informal contacts, and will not be published in internet.
- Despite being difficult to get a job in the French grape harvest, there are people that get these Jobs. But only some percentage of all that apply for them.
What is the Grape Harvest?
The grape harvest is also known as “vendimia”in Spanish, “vendemmia” in Italian and “vendange” in French. It´s the grape picking process that can be made by hand, or by mechanical means.
In the picking be hand process, work teams are formed, called “quadrille” in French, or “cuadrillas” in Spanish.
Each work team has a vineyard zone assigned and each worker move around this zone cutting bunch of grape using pruning scissors/shears, picking carefully the fruit, and putting it into a basket case.
Latter, other member of the work team called porter (“Porteur” in French), move close to the other workers while carrying a bigger basket case (called “Hotte” in French) in his back.
And he, the porter, collects all the fruit that his workmates has been cutting and picking into his big basket”. When the big basket carried by the porter is already full, his content is putting into trucks that are prepared close to the vineyard. Picking system may vary a little from one vineyard to another.
In the following video, you can see the grape picking process in detail:
Grape Harvest in France
The harvest in France takes place in the different wine regions and is not concentrated in exclusive point of French geography. Each of the regions has slightly different harvest dates, which in turn vary from year to year.
What are the areas in France where the grape harvest takes place?
The harvest is carried out effectively in the French wine regions. On the map below you can see roughly the different wine producing areas of France.
Using this link, you can see the wine regions in France, in a bigger map,
The main French wine areas for production and extension of the vineyard are:
The Languedoc-Roussillon wine region
This wine region is next to the border with Spain (Catalunya). This region main cities are surrounded by the vineyards areas of Perpignan, Carcasonne and Montpellier. In this region, only the vineyards with Denomination of Origin are harvested by hand. The volume of jobs offered for these areas, is around 20,000 seasonal vineyard jobs. The harvest season starts in mid-August and lasts until mid-October with a peak of activity between 10th September and 20th September.
The Bordeaux – Aquitaine wine region
It is the region of the famous wines of Bordeaux, an internationally known French wine region. It is the third largest producer of wine, and the 3rd with the largest area dedicated to vineyards in France. In the Bordeaux region, Aquitaine, about 30,000 jobs are offered for the harvest each year. Although, harvesting by hand, is giving way more and more to mechanical harvesting. The grape harvest season begins around the end of August.
The Beaujolais wine region
It is a region that has acquired quite a reputation with its Beaujolais Nouveau wine, which is the first wine of the season that is released for sale. In this small region north of Lyon, the harvest is also done all by hand, which requires a lot of labor.
The Burgundy wine region
Another famous wine producing region is Burgundy. In the Burgundy region almost the same numbers of harvesters are hired as the Vallée du Rhône in its 5 different regions that make up Burgundy: Chablis and Grand Auxerrois, Côte Chalonnaise, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune and Mâconnais. The harvest in this region begins at the beginning of September.
The Champagne wine region
It is the region of the famous Champagne. It is also the one that requires the most workers for the harvest, according to Anefa, since the entire harvest must be carried out by hand, as indicated in the regulations.
The producers recruit around 100,000 temporary workers for the entire season in the departments of Marne, Aube and Aisne. Which collect between 350 and 450 million kilograms of grapes each year!
The La Vallée du Rhône wine region
The Rhone Valley region is the second largest producer of French wine, with more than 6 million hectoliters produced per year. This wine region located north of the Languedoc-Roussillon region, is about 400 km from the border with Spain.
The Alsace wine region
In Alsace (“Alsacia” in Spanish), about 18,000 contracts are made for the harvest. It is an area specialized in white wines and also produces a sparkling wine, similar to champagne called the “Crémant d’Alsace”, as well as liqueurs from late vintages, which begin at the beginning of October
The Sud-Ouest wine region
This region is composed of numerous smaller wine-growing areas and is located between the Basque Country (Spain), and the Southeast of Burgundy (“Bordeaux.”)
The Loire wine region
Region is known worldwide for its “Chateaux” route near the Loire river. This region is located about 350 km north of Burgundy. In this region, two areas are hiring harvesters: La Loire-Atlantique, and especially the Maine-et-Loire, with a volume of jobs offered around 50,000 contracts for manual harvesting. The starting dates for the harvest are in the middle of September.
Other wine regions
Other French wine regions are: Provence-Corsica Island, the Savoie-Bugey region, the wine region of Jura and the wine region of Lorraine.
According to the European Employment Service EURES, the regions where you have more chances of finding work at the harvest are: Languedoc-Roussillon, Aquitaine (Bordeaux), Champagne and Alsace.
Which are the important dates in the French grape harvest?
The dates of the harvest, depend on the location of the vineyards, the weather during the preceding months and the maturation of the vine. That’s why dates vary from one year to another.
In the following table, you can find approx.they resort to relatives and start dates of collection season for the most important regions. Last year, the harvest season was delayed by an average of two weeks in each region.
|Región vinícola||Nombre español||Fecha de inicio de la vendimia|
|Alsace||Alsacia||Mediados de septiembre|
|Bordeaux||Burdeos||Finales de agosto|
|Beaujolais||Beaujolais||Principios de septiembre|
|Bourgogne||Borgoña||Principios de septiembre|
|Champagne||Champaña||Mediados de septiembre|
|Jura||Jura||Mediados de septiembre|
|Lorraine||Lorena||Mediados de septiembre|
|Loire||Loira||Mediados-finales de septiembre|
|Languedoc-Roussillon||Languedoc-Rosellón||Mediados de agosto|
|Provence||Provenza||Finales de agosto|
|Savoie-Bugey||Saboya||Mediados de septiembre|
|Sud-Ouest||Suroeste||Mediados de septiembre|
|La Vallée du Rhône||Valle del Ródano||Finales de agosto/ principios de septiembre|
Legal requirement to work in the French grape harvest
If you are European Union citizen, you have the same rights and obligations as French citizens. With what if you are of age you can work in the harvest in France, although a young person between 16 and 18 years could also participate, but with stricter working conditions.
However, residents in France have preferential access to the offers published in “Pôle Emploi”, which is where the greatest number of grape picking offers are published.
If you are not a French resident you cannot access the data of a large part of the offers published by them.
If you do not have a nationality of a country of the European Union, to work in the harvest you will need a residence permit and a French work authorization
What documents should I need?
The necessary documents to work in the harvest are the: ID Card or the Passport. It is possible that for you to be registered in the social security for the duration of the employment contract in France, you will be asked for a birth certificate (“Extrait d’acte de Naissance”) of no more than 3 months old. It is advisable that you take it with you when you move to France. For this you will have to ask for it in the Civil Registry of your city.
It is also important that you bring your driver’s license with you, if you have, in addition to two passport-sized photos, the pre-contract or written job offer and a credit card.
On your return to your country, bring with you a copy of the contract of grape harvest that you signed in France with the payroll (“bulletin de paie”).
How can I apply for the French grape harvest jobs?
As of June, many foreigners begin to take an interest in the grape harvest in France, and most of them ask themselves the same question:
“Hello, where can I register to work in France this summer?”
To answer this question it would be best to start by explaining how the selection process works to work on the grape harvest in France:
Many of the French producers have agreed on the jobs needed for the harvest with the same workers from previous years, and the hiring is quite stable from one year to the next. If they need more people, they often ask to the workers of last years, and their family and friends.
If they did not find workers they require it in this way, the producers go mainly to the local employment offices, called “Pôle-Emploi” (public employment agency) or to “ANEFA” (the National Association for Employment in the Farming).
These agencies are responsible for publishing most offers to work in the grape harvest in France. Few owners are those who put an ad directly on job portals on the Internet, such as Leboncoin.fr.
In the following links you can follow the necessary instructions to access the job offers published by these two official French agencies.
- Tutorial to access the grape harvest offers of Pôle-Emploi (spanish)
- Tutorial to access the grape harvest offers of ANEFA (spanish)
ANEFA offers come with contact telephone numbers or email to contact the responsible vineyards. In Pôle-Emploi, however, not all of them come with contact information, so only people registered in the French employment service, can access the offers (to be registered, you must reside in France and have a proof of address). Once you have seen an offer that interests you, you can respond by email to the offer by sending your cv and cover letter in French. For this I leave you below a model of both made by “Europe Direct Andújar”:
- Download curriculum vitae models and cover letter in French for the grape harvest.
Can I register with Pôle Emploi to be included in the offers?
Do you live in France? If the answer is no, you can´t register in Pôle Emploi. Only people resident in France have the right to register in the French employment service. Your only option is to access the offers where contact data (email, postal address or telephone number) comes at the end, the rest you cannot access.
The selection process to work in the grape harvest
Many of the French producers contact the same workers from previous years to work on the harvest, with which the crews are covered from one year to the next without the need for a selection process. If sometimes these producers need more workers for a season, they are the grape pickers of previous years who are in charge of looking for more people to fill the vacancies for the crews. Most agencies) or to ANEFAof times, they resort to relatives and close friends with what these vacancies are never known, nor are they posted online
Other times the necessary posts for the harvest, are entirely covered by the inhabitants of the agricultural municipalities around the vineyards, which does not require foreigners to collect them
If the producers of the vineyards need labor and they did not have it from previous years, the producers go mainly to the local employment offices, called “Pôle – Emploi”,  (public employment agencies) or to ANEFA,  which is the National Association for Employment in Agriculture in France. These agencies then collect the needs of employers and are responsible for publishing the offers in their offices and on their websites.
Other wine growers use other ways to publish their personnel needs. Some put an ad directly on online advertisement portals, such as Leboncoin.fr , iookaz.com  or vinomedia.fr . A few also have a section or a form on their own websites where you can sign up for the vintages in your vineyard.
To a lesser extent producers, can also go to local agencies for temporary employment, called in French “Agences d’interim”. The most famous are Adecco, Manpower and Randstad. These agencies publish the offers for the harvest that they manage in their web pages.
How to get a work contract
There are several different options to get a contract for the harvest. The first is requesting the posts that are published on the websites of Anefa, Pole-emploi and to a lesser extent on other websites such as Leboncoin.fr, Beepjob.com or Vivastreet.com.
The second is by signing up through the forms proposed by some regions by the local employment agencies of Pole-emploi. Although not all propose it. Once registered these agencies can contact you if there is an offer that corresponds to your profile
The third option is to attend the employment forums or other devices that organize to connect wine growers with job seekers. These forums are organized in some municipalities in certain regions on certain dates between August and September. It may be a good option but you have to take into account that when you move from your country to attend the forum you it´s not sure that you will obtain a job.
Another option is to directly contact the vineyards by email or phone and offer to work on the property during the harvest. This option is much more laborious because there are thousands of vineyards in each región, and no one assures you that they need workers to harvest this season. Some also carry out the harvest mechanically, which does not even require labor for this purpose.
On the other hand, this can be useful if you want to poll a specific area where you want to go or get another harvest contract in the area when you have finished the first one. In this guide you will find about 4000 vineyards spread between the regions of the Rhône-Alpes, Languedoc and La Provence. Also for each winery it is indicated if it has organic vineyards, where you will have more luck to be hired, since the harvest are made by hand.
Offers published in internet
The following table shows the websites, where you can find the greatest number of offers for the harvest. All together have 90% of the total offers that can be found on the web. It is the middle of July when the offers start appearing on websites.
|· Pôle-emploi.fr||Official website of the French Employment Public Service|
|· Anefa-emploi.org||Official website of the French Agricultural Association|
|· Vitijob.com||Job website specialized in viticulture|
|· Vinomedia.fr||Website specialized in the world of wine|
|Job offers websites||Description|
|· Leboncoin.fr||Websites of all types of ads between individuals|
|· Vivastreet.com||Free ad websites|
|· Beepjob.com||Free ad websites|
|· iookaz.com||Free ad websites|
Access job offers published on the internet
As we have already indicated, the offers are published mainly on the websites of Pôle-Emploi and Anefa, and to a lesser extent on the other websites classified as Leboncoin.fr, Vivastreet.com or iookaz.com.
Comment that France does not publish virtually harvest jobs in the database of offers on the EURES website, and the directors of Eures France indicate that the only way to be aware of the offers at the harvest is to consult the Pôle Emploi website. . From page 94 onwards we explain in tutorials 1, 2 and 3 how you have to do to access the offers of these 8 websites, especially the offers of the official websites of Pôle-Emploi and Anefa.
Apply to offers
Once you have found one or several offers that interest you, you will have to contact them by email or phone with the agency that publishes them or directly with the vineyard manager, depending on the information that comes in the offer.
Most times we will find a contact email, a postal address or a phone number. Many times in the offer itself will be indicated they want to contact; if from a specific date or at certain times of the day if it is by telephone, etc.
It is important you to read carefully the offer from top to bottom so that you do not miss these details. If you do not know French use the Google translator  with care because the translations are not perfect.
On page 123 you have an email model of the offer request in French as well as a CV model that you are most likely to be asked for and that you will have to attach to the email with all your information.
Pole-emploi grape harvest application forms
Unfortunately, only residents in France can register for the employment service of Pôle-Emploi. However for the harvest certain areas have some specific part of the website for grape harvest, such as forms to fill out and request a harvest position. Although not all regions or departments of wine-growing areas do so. In this section we will indicate what these areas are and how to fill out the available forms.
For the Languedoc-Rousillon neither the services of Pôle-emploi nor of Anefa have a special website link for the harvest. You just have to look for the offers on your website as we indicated in tutorial 1.
In the department of the Var there are two viticulture areas where Pôle-Emploi offers a form for the harvest of this year. For the rest of the areas you will have to look directly for the offers on the Pôle-emploi website.
- Department of the Var
East Toulon (Hyères, La Londe, Pierrefeu, Puget Ville …) fill out this form  and send it before August 16 to:
- Pôle-emploi de Hyères
Here we show you how to fill out the form:
Documents to attach:
- “Recto and verso“ photocopy of the ID Card
- Photocopy of the European Health Card
Fairs and vineyard employment meetings
Below we show you all events that will take place in the regions of Languedoc-Roussillon, PACA and the Rhône Valley (Dhrôme, Ardèche, Rhône).
In none of the departments of the Languedoc-Roussillon region there is no specific employment forum for the harvest.
In the department of Hérault there will be a seasonal employment forum in Cap d’Agde, but it is not specific to the harvest.
- Seasonal employment forum – Cap d’Agde (34)
Pôle-emploi Events website
Pôle-emploi has launched a website that allows you to be aware of the different employment forums in each region. You can access it from the following link and consult to see if there are forums related to the vintage.
Direct contact with the vineyards
Most direct way to find a contract to work in the grape harvest is to contact directly those responsible for the vineyards or wineries. As we mentioned before, it is a very laborious task since there are thousands of vineyards in each region and although you get in touch with them nobody guarantees that they need workers for the harvest.
A large part of them already have their work teams formed from previous years, others carry out the harvest mechanically with what they do not need additional manpower. Having said that, you still can find a contract in this way, so in this guide we will guide you so that with this task of contacting the owners you have the best chance of finding a job during the harvest.
• Which vineyards to contact?
Organic vineyards: Vineyards with organic wine production mainly are harvest by hand, which will be more likely to need workers for the harvest season. In this guide you will find more than 600 vineyards with organic production from the different viticulture regions
The “coteaux”: Those vineyards called “coteaux” refer to the vineyards found in the mountainous hills. This fact causes that the harvest has to be done manually since the slopes prevent the machines from harvesting access to the vineyards. This type of vineyard is quite widespread in the Rhone Valley, for example the Coteaux d’Aix en Provence (see page 75, Route 9: The vineyards of Bouches du Rhône) and the Coteaux de Die (see page 82)
The “Crémant” Denomination of Origin: The vineyards with “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée “ (AOC) of Crémant, sparkling wine of the Champagne style, are obliged to harvest by hand. As for example, in the AOC of Crémant de Limoux, in the Aude or the Crémant de Die in Drôme. So they will require for sure many additional workers during the harvest season.
- The Beaujeulais: In the entire Beaujeulais region, north of Lyon, in the Rhône department, the harvest is done by hand by obligation (see page 86, Route 12: the Beaujeulais vineyards). That is why the largest number of workers are hired in this region, about 10,000 for this year.
In addition, 60% of these job contracts include accommodation in the same vineyard, which saves you the search for a campsite in the surroundings. It is without a doubt a destination to consider if you are looking for a job for the grape harvest in France. In this guide you will find more than 1000 directions of Beaujeulais vineyards to which you can contact
The “châteaux” and Denominations of Origin:
The vineyards with denominations of protected origin (in French AOC, “Appelation d’Origine Contrôlée”) usually carry out more the manual harvest than the vineyards without protected denomination. In the sections of the viticulture routes of each region we show you that municipalities or areas have an AOC.
When the name of the vineyard precedes the mention “Château”, the vineyard must belong to a protected appellation of origin, and the process of obtaining the wine and aging must be produced in the same place of the vineyard exploitation. This is a sample of quality and possibly when the vineyards bear the mention “château” it will be more likely that the harvest will be done by hand.
* Call the owner/producer
All the vineyards listed in this guide come with a contact telephone number. If you speak French you can call the wineries directly and ask if they need workers for the harvest.
You need to have a very good level of oral French, but the speaker will have a hard time understanding you.
You have to understand that the majority of telephones in the wineries are for commercial attention and the person on the other side of the line will not have much patience if it is not about selling their wine. Even more, if the person is a foreigner and does not speak French very well.
For not spend a too much money on calls abroad, in tutorial 4 on page 118 we explain how to call all French landlines for 3 months for just € 12.5.
* Send an email
This guide has more than two thousand emails from wineries and / or wine growers. A good way to contact them is to send them an email offering you to work on the harvest. On page 123 you have a presentation email model and a cv model so you can send it to the email addresses in the list.
What are the working conditions?
The working days will have a maximum duration of 10 hours a day, although this maximum may be exceeded during the harvest season by 2 hours a day for a maximum of 6 consecutive days.
You have the right to a break between working days of at least 11 consecutive hours, and 24 hours of weekly rest.
You have the right to a break of 20 minutes after 6 hours of work. The employer is obliged to provide drinking water in sufficient quantity to all harvesters throughout the working day.
You can exercise your right to withdraw (“droit de retrait” in Frencg) from work in case you consider that you are in a dangerous situation.
The hours worked must be recorded in a document attached to the payroll (“bulletin de paie” in French) at the end of the harvest. This document describes exactly the hours worked per day by the worker.
With regard to physical conditions, jobs require physical strength (especially for porters) and the ability to withstand uncomfortable and relatively hard positions for a prolonged period of time.
- Working conditions for a young person between 16 and 18 years old:
A young person between 16 and 18 years old can work in the French grape harvest but the conditions of work and salary are different. You can only work 8 hours a day, 36 hours a week. You have the right to take a break of 30 minutes after 4.5 hours in a row; a break between days of 12 consecutive hours and a weekly break of two consecutive days (one of them on Sunday).
He is forbidden to work “by piece”, to do overtime and to work between 10pm and 6am. Neither can he/she carry any kind of cargo. The employer must be expressly authorized by the legal representative (parents or guardians). The salary for a minor of 17 years will be 20% less than that of an adult, and 10% less if the young person is between 17 and 18 years old (unless it shows that he has already worked in the same branch of activity more than 6 years) months). HOWEVER, SOME OFFERS REQUEST THAT THE PERSON BE ABOVE 18.
How much is earned by making the vintage?
The salary at the harvest in France can vary a bit depending on the salary agreement of the sector in each region. However, the salary must in any case equal or exceed the “Interprofessional Minimum Salary for Growth” or SMIC, which for this year 2018 is at € 9.88 / gross hour for the 35-hour workday.
The category of professionals also depends: cutters, porters, dump trucks or tractor drivers. You can also be paid per kilos collected, ranging between € 0.15 / kg and € 0.25 / kg depending on the producer.
For this method to be profitable, you must have experience and be fast and efficient in cutting the clusters. The hourly rate corresponding to overtime is estimated as follows: • 25% more from the 36th hour to the 43th hour per week. • 50% from the 44 hour week (with a limit of 60 weekly hours).
For example, for a 3-week contract, where we work about 48 hours / week we can estimate a profit of € 1500 counting the extra hours and without discounting the possible remuneration in kind (food and lodging) in the event that this occurs .
Accommodation and food during the harvest
Each offer published in Pôle-Emploi or Anefa specifies if accommodation and food are included, although most often they are not included. If they are included the cost of these are deducted from the salary. Depending on the convention of each region, remuneration in kind (avantage in nature) can be estimated at around € 10-20 / day. Meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and about € 1-3 / day of accommodation.
In recent years there are fewer and fewer owners who propose accommodation, which means that from where you are staying, you have to travel to the vineyard located several kilometers away. That is why, according to EURES, it is advisable to have a vehicle of your own to be able to travel from the place of accommodation to the workplace.
Where can I stay?
If the owners of the vineyards do not provide accommodation in the vineyards (most likely not) you will have to search for campsites or areas where camping is allowed. Normally when you contact the owner he will inform you if there is a campsite nearby. Anyway, in the following links you can find a campsite in the region that you are thinking of doing the harvest:
• Campingfrance.com (en)
• Camping.hpaguide.es (en)
• Camping.fr (en)
• Gites-de-france.com (fr, en)
• Francecamping.org (fr, en)
Is the trip to go to France reimbursable?
No, the trip to the place of the harvest is at your expense. That is why we must add it to the total cost of accommodation and maintenance and weigh accordingly, if it is profitable to go to make the grape campaign to the France, even knowing that the hourly wage is higher than in most European countries.
Where can I find the offers for the harvest?
As indicated earlier, the two official websites where you can find offers for the harvest are:
Pôle-Emploi, website of the State Employment Agency in France
- Tutorial to access the vintage offers of Pôle-Emploi
- Anefa, website of the National Association for employment and training in Agriculture.
- Tutorial to access the vintage offers of Anefa
You should consider, that France does not publish virtually harvest jobs in the database of EURES offers, and the directors of Eures France themselves indicate that the only way to be aware of the offers at the harvest, is to consult the Pôle Emploi website.
Other French websites also publish jobs more informally, such as Leboncoin.fr or Jooble-fr.com.
Appropriate clothing for the harvest work
Wear comfortable clothes in keeping with the weather, and shoes adapted to the terrain.
The type of clothing you will need will depend on the weather conditions. A good choice is to wear shorts that allow good mobility and a cotton shirt to avoid irritation. Do not forget to bring a hat, hat, or something similar to cover your head and avoid sunstroke.
It is also good to carry some spare clothing or long sleeves if you change the time during the day. In the case of footwear better to wear old sneakers that protect the entire contour of the foot and ankle to avoid chafing and insect bites and with which you can walk firmly on the uneven terrain of the vineyards.
On rainy days it is essential to wear a rain jacket and some plastic boots. Tip: do not wear brightly colored clothing to avoid attracting insects. (And if you’re a girl, also avoid wearing very flashy clothes to avoid another “kind of insects”, you can imagine what I mean;)). It is advisable that you wear sunglasses to protect you from the great luminosity that is usually given in the vineyards.
Materials required for the work
The owner or responsible of the vineyards is obliged to provide the necessary materials to carry out the work correctly. Essentially this material will consist of a cutter in a pruning scissors/shears to cut the bunches of grapes, some gloves and a basket to go to, and for the bearers a large basket (in French “hotte”) to be placed on the back, where the cutters they will pour the grapes from their baskets.
What should I do, if I have problems in France?
If once working in France you have some kind of problem or query, you can contact:
- CCOO Agrifood Federation (Labor Union):
* Phone: 00 34 915409266
* Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, in Paris:
- or Telephone: 00 33 153700520
or to the Work and Immigration sections of the nearest city where you are.
- or Bordeaux § Tel .: 05.56.81.84.60 § E-mail: email@example.com
- or Strasbourg § Tel .: 03 126.96.36.199
- or Lyon § Tel .: 04.78.62.06.53 § E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- or Marseille § Tel .: 04.91.37.47.97
- or Montpellier § Tel .: 04.67.58.67.53
- or Pau § Tel .: 05.59.83.91.13 § E-mail: email@example.com
- Perpignan § Tel .: 04.68.51.08.08 § E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- or Toulouse § Tel .: 05.62.26.78.98
These phones are only for when you are in France, do not have offers for the harvest or for other jobs.
We leave you below the EMERGENCY telephone numbers in France:
- Emergency telephone number: 112
- Police (Police / Gendarmerie): 17
- Firemen (Pompiers): 18
- SAMU (Medical Public Service): 15
Grape Harvesting vocabulary in French
Although it is clear that to harvest you do not need to know French, I would not go to another foreign country without knowing a minimum of expressions that can get you from one or another hurry. Then I leave a little vocabulary related to the vintage (if you can think of another word or expression can leave a comment or go directly to google translator).
|La vendimia||Les vendanges||Le vandanlles|
|Un vendimiador||Un vendangeur||An Vandanllór|
|Una vendimiadora||Une vendangeuse||Un vandanllós|
|Un porteador||Un porteur d’Hotte||An Portor dot|
|Un cortador||Un Coupeur / Un cueilleur||An cupor / an quyor|
|Vaciador||Débardeur / Videur||Debardor / Videur|
|La viña||Le vignoble||Le viñoble|
|Unas tijeras de podar||Un sécateur||An secator|
|Un canasto||La hotte||La hot|
|Un cubo/ cesa||Un seau||An soó|
|Un racimo de uva||Une grappe de raisin||Un grap de resán|
|Un alojamiento||Un logement||An logement|
|Un tractor||Un tracteur||An tractor|
|Un pueblo||Un village||An vilach|
|La ciudad||La ville||La vil|
|Un coche||Une voiture||Un vuatur|
|Un Camping||Un camping||An camping|
|Comida (alimentos)||La Nourriture||La nurritur|
|La comida||Le Repas||Le repá|
|Salario||Le Salaire||Le Saler|
|A destajo||A la tâche||A la tach|
|1 hora||Une heure||Un her|
|La nómina||Le bulletin de paie||Le buletan de pei|
|Socorro||Au sécours! / A l’aide!||O securs! Aléd !|
|Un Accidente||Un Accident||Anac cidán|
|La Policia||La police||La polís|
|Un autobús||Un bus||An bus|
|Francia||La France||La Frans|
Where can I get more information about the harvest?
If you decide to look for a job in the grape harvest in RedFrancia (our website), an ebook is available (more than 550 pages), where resources that will help you find a contract in the harvest are available in detail. Among others:
• Curriculum models, cover letter in French.
• Vocabulary and essential phrases in French.
• Email models in French to contact the owners of the vineyards.
• List with more than 4 thousand contacts of French producers.
• Step by step tutorials to access job offers that appear on the Internet
• Addresses of campsites where you can stay in each region.
• See more
In addition to this, there are other websites with information about the vintage in France?
Yes, but they do not provide much more information than this article, so you can avoid wasting time going from one website to another. Only CCOO, UGT and EURES (Spanish Labor Unions), prepared interesting documents. I leave below the links for you to download them:
- Download the information about the vintage in France 2013 CCOO
- Download the document “Harvest and Harvest Campaigns in FRANCE 2012” from EURES
- Download diptych “Campaign Vendimia Francia 2012” by UGT
Note: These documents has been prepared by Spanish Labor Unions, and of course are written in Spanish language.
All this information is very good, but I want to go to the harvest, what do I do?
If you know someone who is part of a squad of previous years it is best that you ask if there is a place in your group for this year. If this is not your case and you do not know anyone, you will have to “work it out”: Search the offers that are published, contact by phone or email IN FRENCH with the French vineyards or with local employment agencies, which you will need a basic knowledge of French to be able to communicate; possibly you will also have to look for an accommodation on your own in the region. So it takes a long time and it’s not easy.
From the Labor Unions they recommend you not to go to the harvest without having a work contract before
If I write a comment in this website with my phone and email, will it help me finding a job?
Unfortunately, it will not help you to be called or to be offered a job in the harvest. The owners of the vineyards are not going to visit this to find workers!
From Redfrancia website, we can only propose you the information available. We cannot treat candidacies since we do not manage job offers, and we aren´t vineyard owners.
In any case it can be useful to get in touch with other people interested in going to the harvest, but for that I advise you better to enter the RedFracia community about the harvest and do not leave your contact information in comments on any website to avoid possible abuses. (Apart from that, feel free to leave the comments you want below!) And here is this guide about the harvest.
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Some references used to write this guide:
- Pôle-emploi LES CONDITIONS DE TRAVAIL DURANT LA PERIODE DES VENDANGES
- NOTE D’INFORMATIONS VENDANGES
- Convention Collective des Exploitations Agricoles de la Gironde
- Fédération régionale des syndicats d’exploitants agricoles