In France you'll be paid per working day, independent of your pace of work. Carriers earn more than pickers, but there is no great difference. Every year pay is according to the tariffs set by law. Last year net wages were about EUR57 for an 8 hours working day. This amount will change a little bit every year.
Apart from the wages you'll be given board and lodging as mentioned above. On days you don't work, either due to the weather or because of illness, you won't be paid. At the end of the harvest wages will be paid out either in cash or by cheque. Let the farmer know you'd prefer to be paid in cash; in this way you avoid the cost of cashing a cheque. If you do receive a cheque, it's advisable to cash it in France right away. The farmer is legally bound to insure you against accidents during working hours. This insurance doesn't cover damages as a result of theft, etc. A travel insurance is recommended.
Finding a good place of work in France is not simple. Not everywhere picking is done by hand or are board and lodging provided. We select and book places of work with number of wine growers every year.
These farmers have usually been receiving pickers from several EU countries for quite a number of years.
Conditions for participating in the grape picking programme are:
  1. Minimum age of 18 years
  2. Good health and physical condition
  3. EU country passport or identity card
  4. Being available for the full harvest period (around 5 to 13 days)
We offer a programme to pick grapes in France :
  • A.C. books a workplace for you with a farmer.
  • We provide you with all necessary information about address, working clothes needed and the like.
  • You organise the journey to the farmer yourself.

We charge 99 (EUR 99) for participation in this grape pick programme.

  Grape picking in France still captures the imagination of many persons all over the world. And it does so with good reason: the wine producing areas are among the most beautiful and romantic of France, the food and drink is Burgundian and from all corners of the world pickers come to work here and to enjoy the pleasant atmosphere. This grape, picking programme is made for everyone who thinks of grape picking in France. A.C. brings farmers and pickers into contact with each other. We also give all possible information, based on our experience as grape pickers for years and years. We take care of a good place of work and all appointments as regards start of the harvest, the total duration of the working period and extensive information about the work and journey.
All our places of work are in the Beaujolais and Maconais regions. These are situated just north of Lyon. The countryside is rolling and gradually becomes a higher mountain ridge. Scattered throughout the region lie small, picturesque villages. The vineyards are usually situated on the slopes, so from there you often get panoramic views of the surroundings. In September the weather is fine for the most part, but it may break all of a sudden.
During the 'vendanges' (grape harvest) it is busy in the small villages. After work and diner many 'vendangeurs' (grape pickers) go to small pubs or the wine cellars of the farmers. The farmers make their own wine or deliver their grapes to a co-operative nearby. Some farmers work by order of one of the bigger 'chateaux' (or have one themselves).
  The grapes are harvested in the month of September. But this depends on the weather circumstances. Just like a lot of agricultural work grape picking is hard work, too. The position in which you have to work is tiring, the more so towards the end of your working day. Depending on the composition and size of your farmer's team it may at times be possible to do the 'carrying'. This puts less strain on your back, but for the rest it's just as tiring (a full backbasket weighs about 50 kilograms).
Furthermore you have to take into account that it may be fairly warm in the afternoons in September (up to 30 degrees C), but chilly in the early morning (freezing point). A farmer's grape harvest takes between 7 and 18 days at the most.
We inform you in advance how many days your harvest will take (approximately). Work continues during the weekends. You are supposed to work a farmer's full harvest period. It is not necessary to speak French well in order to understand what you have to do. Besides, there will always be a colleague who speaks French, or a Frenchman who speaks Englisch.
When it rains there is usually no work to do, since the rain affects the sugar contents of the grapes negatively. However, if it keeps raining many days on end, then you'll have to go into the fields as the bunches might start rotting.
On most of the farms at which we can deploy our participants, the winegrowers will offer you a bed and all meals every day.
Some farmers offer the opportunity to pitch your tent, in that case again all meals are included. The day before the harvest begins you'll be welcome.
The farmers' accommodation varies greatly: from a chateau's annexes to an attic in a farm shed. As long as you don't expect a hotel with privacy, you'll find things will be all right.
Often there are separate dormitories for boys and girls. All our selected farmers have been found to offer adequate facilities: a clean bed, shower and toilet. Food consists of: breakfast, many farmers serve a 'casse croute'-which is a kind of second breakfast- in the field, and two hot meals a day.
The two hot meals are elaborate and typically French (with wine, of course). This may seem a bit much, but you'll definitely need it!