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Early picking Valais set for smaller harvest but good vintage

The grape harvest has already begun in many French-speaking wine regions in Switzerland – three weeks earlier than normal. The heavy frosty period in April has left its mark on this year's harvest.

In canton Valais the grape-picking season has begun. Most of the grapes will be harvested in the next two weeks and stored in wine cellars in the region, according to Guillaume Favre of the cantonal wine service. This year's harvest is three weeks earlier than last year but wine specialists are nonetheless expecting an excellent vintage.

This comes after a week of frosty weather caused bad damage to vineyards in the canton. Favre said this year's harvest would have been much bigger if there hadn't been such a cold snap. The frost affected several thousand hectares or about one quarter of all vineyards in the canton.

(Text: swissinfo.ch/agencies; all images: Keystone)