French police patrol vineyards for thieves

With 2012 tipped to be a vintage year for champagne, grape prices have gone up, making them vulnerable to theft.

    You would not normally expect the police to spend their time protecting bunches of fruit. But at the end of this year's harvest in Champagne in northern France - a crucial time for wine producers - that is exactly what is happening.

    Wine makers there say 2012 could be a vintage year for champagne and that means the price of grapes has gone up, making them attractive for thieves.

    Champagnes use the same three types of grape - Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier - destined to go into making a product that's always in demand.

    This year, wet weather has caused vineyards to produce fewer grapes, pushing up their price to around $8 per kg.

    Police have been patrolling the vines around the clock - on horseback by day, and using 4WD vehicles and infrared goggles at night.

    Nobody has been prosecuted, but the thefts have stopped.

    Al Jazeera's Nadim Baba reports from a vineyard near Epernay.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable

    Why a hipster, vegan, green tech economy is not sustainable

    Improving eco-efficiency within a capitalist growth-oriented system will not save the environment.