A New Way to Harvest Grapes...with a Machine - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

A New Way to Harvest Grapes...with a Machine

Posted: Updated:

There is a new trend in farming grapes and it could save the growers some time and money. It's a machine that takes care of the vineyard instead of the farmers having to do so much.

Normally you see grapes being picked by hand but have you ever seen grapes being picked by a machine?

Derek Way, viticulturist, says what they are trying to do is just completely take out the hand labor part of it or as much as they can.

Although the technology is new farmers are seeing a big difference in labor costs.

Farmer Bill Dickard says cost wise it's a lot less, a lot less. We're just trying the fruit thinning just mainly to look at, I think we've been pretty happy with it and we're going to try it again next year for sure.

The machine can make pruning the grapes a challenge in the end, but that's why farmers are still experimenting with it to see the most effective way to use it.

Way says we're experimenting on a cabernet grape because historically it's gone into maybe the bottom 50 percent tier wine so it's not the high tier stuff, not that it wont work there but we're experimenting on it because we wanted something like a two vine or lower type quality grape.