A series of vine thefts is causing anger and bewilderment in Alsace. About 1,000 newly planted vines from five wineries were stolen from the field in May. The worst hit recently was the Schmitt & Carrer winery in Kientzheim in the Colmar region. As the manager Anne-Cécile Carrer-Hattermann reported to the French trade press, 360 Riesling vines were stolen from a plot at their estate, which had only been planted at the end of April. Afterwards, 132 young plants from another plot were stolen.
Four other wineries reported a loss of between 72 and 300 vines of Riesling and Pinot Noir. Carrer-Hattermann tries to understand: "The growers produced less because they expected a decrease in plantings, which did not happen. Riesling is the variety most affected by this shortage. That's probably why it happened to us." It is a moral blow in a context that has been difficult for a year anyway, she adds.
In her post on Facebook, the winemaker publicised the theft – with apparent success. Suspicious new plantings were discovered on a vineyard five kilometres away. The perpetrator has meanwhile admitted to having stolen the vines from at least two of the affected vineyards. The investigation is ongoing. itp