MW Topic of the Week - LABOR

Hi guys,

This time, let's focus on one specific question.

From the 2017 exam:

Labour supply for vineyard work is decreasing in many parts of the world. If this trend continues, how will this affect viticulture, and how can vineyard managers around the world best prepare for, and handle, a shortage of workers? 

Excited to hear everyone's thoughts!

Best,

Kelli, , Sarah Bray

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  • In the absolute worst case scenario, with a shortage of discerning human labor, automation may run rampant, causing vineyard managers to train vines first and foremost with ease of maintenance and harvest in mind, and not necessarily what would be best for the climate or grape variety that would lead to top quality. 

     As pointed out already, there are so many tools available at our disposal now.

    This is, of course, more of a problem for very large operations with vast hectares of vineyards. Small enough producers from prestige growing areas and regions which already command a blue chip price point may continue to roll the higher (and continually rising cost) of vineyard labor into the end price of their bottles. Particularly if they are already in high demand. This increase in price to maintain quality may be unfortunate, but also may be necessary. 

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