The exact dates of the harvest are of course not known in advance. Having the touch for selecting the auspicious and precise day to begin the harvest process is a best kept secret of those in the grape business–much depends on how much sun and rain the region has had throughout the year. Even the time of day to pick the grapes is a highly sensitive matter and it is not rare to find harvesting in the middle of night when the temperatures are at their lowest. While many of the larger vineyards use massive machines to collect their bounty, many smaller domains still pride themselves in hand- picking their grapes.
Traveling to Provence during the month of September to beginning of October is certainly one of the magical times to vacation in Provence. Festivals and markets celebrating the harvest are found throughout the region and villa rental prices drop significantly.
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