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Wine grape rustlers strike in Germany

A first-class German winegrower has suffered the devastating loss of his grapes right before harvest time. Thieves armed with harvest machines managed to go unnoticed as they plucked several tons of grapes from the vines overnight.

From Spiegel:

A first-class German winegrower has suffered the devastating loss of his grapes right before harvest time. But the culprit was neither frost nor hungry birds this time. Thieves armed with harvest machines managed to go unnoticed as they plucked several tons of grapes from the vines overnight.

They were supposed to be turned into a premium red wine, but grapes at a southwestern German vineyard disappeared overnight just ahead of the scheduled harvest. Thieves are believed to have plucked some 2,500 kilograms (5,500 pounds) of the high-quality fruit from the vine under the cover of night, Deidesheim winegrower Stephen Attmann said Tuesday.

"We are suffering spiritually, not just financially, over this loss," Attmann told news agency DPA.

The grape grabbers were so bold they even brought in a harvest machine to the Von Winning vineyard to remove the Spätburgunder variety, also known as Pinot Noir, estimated to be worth some €100,000 ($137,000).

For more, see: Thieves Bag Premium Wine Grapes Overnight

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