Grape Picking Jobs In France : Personal Experience in 2023!

Do you want to know how to find the best grape picking jobs in France this year? 

You might have dreamt of driving off to the lovely French countryside and sipping wine from the best wineries in France. But that can be expensive.

That is where grape picking jobs in France come into play.

To help you find out where and when you can land a job picking grapes in France, WWB Writer, Marco, has put together the Ultimate ‘Best Grape Picking Jobs In France’ Guide, just for you! 

Marco has extensive experience since he has done it for three harvest seasons in a row, and he knows how to find the best grape picking jobs in France. 

Now, it is not all rainbows and sunshine. As the old saying goes: ‘There is no such thing as something for nothing’.

Grape picking is hard work, but if you keep a positive attitude and focus on the good things, the rewards are worth it. 

You could meet people from all over the world, get a nice tan and get your butt in shape, take in the scenery, and create memories that will last forever.

grape picking jobs in france

Within a couple of weeks, you will have enough saved up to fund your travels to other parts of France.

It is such a great experience. That’s why many people choose to do it in exchange for food and accommodation only. Some even pay for it.

However, finding good vineyards to work at is not that easy because they are not advertised on the Internet. Even if they are, they are usually written in French.

And because the grape harvest is seasonal, jobs are only available during certain times of the year. 

Let’s dive right in.

Summary of all the best grape picking jobs in France (and how to find them!)


Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.

grape picking jobs in france
Working in the field

How Do You Find The Best Grape Picking Jobs In France?

1. Decide Where You Want To Go

There are three main factors to consider when you decide where you want to go to work at a vineyard in France:

  • Timing
  • Weather
  • Ambiance

Search for ‘grape picking jobs near me,’ and you will probably see grape harvest jobs from all over France.

If you want to enjoy the beauty of the lovely French countryside in early to mid-September and spend the majority of your days wearing a T-shirt in warm weather, head over to the following areas: 

  • Corsica
  • Languedoc-Roussillon
  • Provence
  • Beaujolais
  • Southern Rhône Valley
  • Northern Rhône Valley
  • Bordeaux
  • Burgundy
  • Loire Valley

This is where you will also find the coziest atmosphere you could ever imagine for grape picker jobs.

If you are more of a Viking-type of person, you enjoy camping, and the cold doesn’t get you (and in some cases, you want to raise more money), then you should look for opportunities that usually start in mid September to early October in the following regions: 

  • Alsace
  • Champagne
  • Charantes
  • Cognac
  • Lorraine

The timing is not set in stone, as it depends on how ripe the grapes are, but it is a fairly decent outline. 

Also, bear in mind that some vineyards are more corporate-oriented, especially in Bordeaux, so you could make more money in some cases, but the people in charge are way more business-oriented.

That means that pickers doing labourer jobs Bordeaux might be urged to work faster more often, and that could probably get in the way of your idea of a laid-back summer vibe.

grape picking jobs in france

2. Leverage 5 Channels To Find A Job

It is all great, but how do I find grape picking jobs France?

Well, this is the type of actionable guidance you can find on this blog.

You have five options:

1. Apcon

In some places, the working conditions are not really that good and the morale is not good, which does not make it the best working holiday.

If you want to take the plunge without doing the heavy lifting yourself, the best option is to rely on a third-party agency called Appellation Contrôlée.

Not only do they have an extensive network of wine growers all around the Beaujolais and Maconais regions, but they also provide board and lodging.

In addition, they work with farmers who usually hire pickers from all over Europe. 

Every year there are farmers who offer fruit picking jobs france 2022 and fruit picking jobs france 2023.

So, if you are looking for a more international vibe, look no further.

The cost for their service is 99 EUR (107 USD), which you can easily make back in 1-2 days of work. You can find more details about the salary further below.

Again, finding a good place for wine jobs in france is not simple.

Hand-picking is not done everywhere. Neither are food and accommodation provided by all vineyards.

So this is a good deal, as I have used their service twice and I was very happy with it.

They even offer other vineyard jobs Europe.

2. Pole Emploi

In case you speak French (or you are a pro at Google Translate :)), you can take advantage of these two government websites. 

If you are an EU citizen, you can register with Pole Emploi and browse through many job ads for picking grapes jobs.

All you need to do is type ‘Coupe des Vendange’ or ‘Porteur des Vendanges’, and call the farmer to look for grape picking jobs France 2023.

If you are planning ahead of time, then you can select the best fit for you. To be truthful, I have used it to find last-minute opportunities.

In this case, the process is time-sensitive, which means that once you find a good place, call the farmer right away.

If you are confident that it is the right opportunity for you, then agree with the farmer and get to the vineyard.

Although it might sound sketchy, it works pretty well, and I have found a good place with this channel.

However, you need to sharpen your instincts and gauge any option carefully in order to avoid bad experiences. 

For instance, I once got a job in the Bordeaux area at a big corporate Chateaux with no food and accommodation, no wine, and no water (for real? YES!).

Oh, that also came with a nasty boss, who proudly stated at the beginning of the whole thing that we were supposed to work as fast as we could to make up for the huge cost he had to bear for seasonal employees.

That means that we could hardly take any break during the day.

This is one of those grape picking jobs in France you want to avoid!

I got fired after one day, and many people left anyway. After that, we found a much better place in the same region (even though we got paid with a couple of weeks of delay).

Key takeaway: Find a good place with Apcon. If you really want to find a job through the Pole Emploi, make sure to find a place where at least food is included.

This way, you will avoid places that treat workers as cannon fodder.

3. Anefa

Alternatively, another online source to find grape picking jobs in France is Anefa, run by the Association Nationale pour l’Emploi et la Formation en Agriculture – the National Association for  Employment and Training in Agriculture.

I have never used it, but some people recommend it on the Internet, so you might want to check it out.

4. Work Exchange Platforms

If you are not interested in making money and picking grapes in France in exchange for food and accommodation tickles your fancy, then head over to these work exchange websites:

Type ‘grape picking jobs’ and find the right place for you. 

You need to register with them and pay an annual fee, which is lower than 50EUR (55USD) and find as many work exchange places as you want in Europe and worldwide (only in France with WWOOF).

5. Other Resources

Some owners post up ads on online jobs portals like

In case you don’t speak French and you want to get paid work without paying any fees, you can google ‘Grape picking france jobs’.

You might find some websites which recommend vineyards and even provide contact details, like this one.

Although I haven’t vetted the places personally, they are recommended by someone who has done it, so it is worth checking out.

As for word of mouth, it is usually great. 

But, in my experience, the farmers usually can’t recommend other places because most of the harvests in their area end when you finish working with them.

My Best Pick(s)

I have worked at six vineyards (so I have seen the good, the ugly, and the bad).

I have been referred to a couple of places offering vineyard jobs France that are ok like ‘Domain Le Tracot’ (you can reach them out here) and Chateaux Emeringes.

Others were decent, but I would not recommend them to a solo female traveler. Others were good, but I have worked without a contract for them, so I can’t recommend them here.

Therefore, I can only recommend one place in earnest for grape harvest France jobs.

Here, the harvests last for about two weeks. They offer board and lodging or a nice space to set up your tent, should you need some privacy.

You are provided with plenty of good food and wine, people are genuine and nice, and there is usually a vibrant international atmosphere.

The place is easy to reach, and you can count on favorable weather conditions.

Below, you can find more details about working at a French vineyard.

The place is called Chateau Pierreux. If you don’t like this place, you should not go grape picking anywhere else. Ok, maybe there are fancier and better places, but overall it is a great deal.

I have worked for them for two harvest seasons in a row, and I have really enjoyed my time there.

You can find all the information that you need here:

Alain Dugoujard

Chef de Culture


69469 Odenas

Tel :

Fax :

Mail :

grape picking job
Châteaux Pierreux

Tip: If you have no experience picking grapes in France, Chateau Pierreux is a great choice. I called them right before the start of the vendange for two years in a row, and I found work easily.

 It is a big Chateau, so you should have no problem even at a moment’s notice. However, if you don’t find any opportunity there, then Apcon is your second best choice for wine picking jobs.

Once you are done with the first harvest, in case you are hungry for more adventure, then you can look into the Pole Emploi or ask some French fellow picker to help you and have a look for you.

How To Get There

Assuming that you found work through Apcon, or you are going to Chateau Pierreux, don’t bother searching for ways to get there.

I got you covered on this as well.

Most likely, you will need to make your way to Lyon. You can easily find a cheap flight with Skyscanner and pay as low as 25EUR (27USD) if you are based in Europe. 

Don’t mind traveling by bus?

In some cases, it is even cheaper than that.

Once you arrive at the airport, you must get to the train station ‘Lyon Part Dieu’. You can get a ticket here

Hop on a local train and head over to Villefranche or the station which is closer to the vineyard (Villefranche is good if you are going to Chateau Pierreux). Oh, don’t forget to buy your ticket.

Once you are there, you can hitchhike to the place. Just kidding. Make arrangements so that they will pick you up and take you there. 

grape picking jobs in france

How Much Do You Earn Picking Grapes?

What’s the salary for grape picking in France?

Good question! Glad you asked 🙂

You will be paid the minimum wage, which is 11.52 EUR per hour (12.54 USD -gross). More prestigious vineyards like the Rothschild Estates may offer higher pay.

Taxes and social insurance will be deducted, as well as food and accommodation (in case that is provided).

So, you can expect to make around 70 EUR (76 USD) a day for 8 hours of work if you choose to get food and accommodation.

So you will leave the Chateaux with 800-900 EUR (870-980 USD) in your pocket or more (assuming 12 days of work). 

Sometimes, it might happen that you don’t feel well and you want to take a morning or a day off. As long as you let your boss know, that’s totally fine, and they will deduct it from your grape picking France salary.

Do you want to decide what and how to eat?

Don’t fret! Some vineyards will let you decide that, while others won’t even provide board and lodging at all.

That’s the salary for a picker, while the carrier earns two additional euros a day to make up for the heavy load carried on his shoulders.

So that’s the pay for grape picking in France.

What Is The Grape Harvest In France?

First things first. What is grape picking?

Le Vendanges’ – as it is called in French – is the time of the year when a staggering number of seasonal workers are welcomed in the countryside for the grape-picking season.

So, ‘Le Vendanges’ refers to the wine harvest. There is no actual word for it in English.

The harvest season usually starts in late August, and it ends as late as the beginning of November, although it depends on how ripe the grapes are and in which region they are.

A farmer’s grape harvest usually takes between 1 to 3 weeks, but it can take longer due to the weather, so you can expect to work 8 – 10 hours a day until the end of the ‘vendange’.

However, if you sign a contract – more on this later – for a longer harvest, then you will likely work six days a week and get some well-deserved rest on Sundays. 

Sometimes, you are off for a couple of days during the week due to the weather, and you get to work on Sunday – which is fine once you are there!

These days most grapes are harvested mechanically, but there is a lot of manual work required in the 750.000 hectares of vineyards in France.

Especially at high-quality and organic farms or in areas where the plots are steep.

Even though the benefits of hand-picked vs. machine-harvested grapes might not outweigh the costs in the future, there is still a great demand for human labor.

Each year, there is actually a huge demand for seasonal agricultural workers in France, with an estimated number equal to 200.000 units.

What does that mean to you? Well, there are still quite a few grape picking jobs in France.

So if picking grapes as a job in France piques your interest, read on and seize this opportunity for grape picking holidays in France!

Why Picking Grapes in France – And Not In Other Countries?

Immerse Yourself In The Local Culture

Grape picking in France has a long and rich history that dates back to as early as the 6th century BC.

France is one of the leading nations when it comes to fine wines, champagnes, and liqueurs, with over 3000 different types of wine grown in vineyards throughout the country.

This cultural heritage is embedded into the daily work of wine harvest jobs.

Sure, at the end of the day, it is about bending over or squatting down and picking fruit, but the ‘ambiance’ – the atmosphere is very cozy and unique.

Working side-by-side with the ‘Patron’ – the owner, binging on ready-sliced meat and French cheese, snacking on delicious chocolate, and sipping wine in the field makes the whole thing way more enjoyable.

Get season ready and protect your hands with Micro-Foam Garden Gloves.

grape picking jobs in france gloves

Join The Army Of Seasonal Workers

There is an abundance of seasonal work options in France.

That is great for everyone who wants to get some experience abroad or get out of the city for a little while without breaking the bank or stressing too much about it.

So, if you are on a tight budget or you don’t really feel like planning ahead for your holidays, then a working holiday doing some fruit picking France might be a great fit for you.

Earn Money

It might sound too good to be true, but since you have little to no costs, you end up saving money (by not paying for your holidays) and earning decent money.

You can actually earn (and save) just over 1000 EUR (1088 USD) a month, or even more than that, by doing some work on a vineyard in France.

grape picking jobs in france
Working in the field

What Are The Requirements To Get A Grape Picking Job In France? 

If you are an EU citizen, then the process of signing a contract for wine jobs France becomes much easier

If you are not an EU citizen, then it is a bit more complicated in terms of visa requirements.

In both cases,  you might want to get travel insurance to put your mind at rest. 

Although it is not mandatory, it is recommended to cover damages as a result of theft, for instance. Although the atmosphere is usually great at good vineyards, you’ll never know.

However, the farmer is legally bound to insure you against accidents during working hours, so that is not an issue at all.

So, here are the legal requirements to get a grape picking job in France.

If You Have An EU Passport

In this case, you just need to show up and hand over your ID and your EU health insurance card – you should already have it – to the ‘Patron’(the boss!) for the paperwork.

Before the start of the vendange, you will need to sign a full-time contract and commit to work for 8 hours a day until the end of the ‘vendange’ (one or days off are provided for longer harvests – more than 10 days).

If you want to receive the money via bank transfer, then you will also need a ‘Carte Vitale’ – the health insurance card and a French bank account. 

If you do not have one, you can open an ad hoc bank account -‘Compte Nickel’– at local tobacco shops (as long as you have a temporary residence address in France), and you are good to go.

Alternatively, if you are shrugging your shoulders, thinking that this is too much of a drag, but you really want to do it, then you can just get paid in cash. 

So, if you want it hassle-free, just bring your ID (and visa, if you are not an EU resident) and be prepared to receive a few hundred euros in cash for these wine harvest jobs Europe.

That means, if you are the cautious type of person, you could get an anti-theft backpack for your cash.

grape picking in france anti theft backpac

If You Don’t Have An EU Passport

There are no two ways about it. 

You need to get a visa if you want to find a job in vineyard work France. That is a bit more complicated but absolutely possible.

If you are young (18-30/35), then you can get a working holiday visa, and your country must have signed a bilateral agreement with France.

This visa is intended for people aged between 18 and 30 (35 in some countries). So, if you are interested in a fruit picking France summer job, you can find more information here.

Is Grape Picking Hard Work? 

Grape picking is demanding physical labour, and it can be challenging.

If you search for more information on Google, you might find a few articles that label grape picking in France as ‘backbreaking work’. 

You spend your day on your knees, squatting down or bending over when doing grape picking jobs in France.

You can expect to ‘break your back’, right?


If you know what you are doing (and are reasonably fit, not super fit), then you will breeze into a 14-day-grape picking harvest with no aches and pain.

You wanna know how? Skip through and read my unique tips at the end of the article.

In this section, I am going to describe what it is like to work at a traditional vineyard in Bejaoulou (I will use Château Pierreux, as an example).

grape picking jobs in france

A Day In The Field

If you are not an early riser, you are not going to like this. 

You wake up at 6.30 in a cozy room shared with fellow pickers (or in your tent). You put on all the appropriate clothing – more on this later – and get yourself ready.

You slide into the dining room, which is 10 to 20 minutes away on foot, depending on the location of your dorm, and give yourself a treat with some bread, butter, and jam and some typical French tasty and energizing food.

Alternatively, you can skip breakfast and sleep a bit longer. But don’t! You will need breakfast.

Make sure to arrive at the pick-up location on time. 

That’s very important – they might lay you off for being late. There are two strict rules: 

  • Be on time and
  • Work reasonably hard (which is don’t slack off)

Honestly, I was super slow – the slowest – during my first ‘vendange,’ but my boss was really nice, so she never ‘told me off’. But you must arrive on time, that’s mandatory.

So, you jump on a van, sit back, relax, and hit the field by 7.30 am.

You have two options: 

  • either you pick up a cutter and pick grapes, or 
  • you take the bucket and work as the bucket man – ‘the porteur’. 

That’s what they call it.

Most women pick grapes and have a stab at being the ‘bucket girl’ for a couple of hours, just for kicks.

 I loved it because I did not mind carrying weight, but I was not eager to spend the whole day with my back bent over.

You work until around 10.30 am when you stop for the coffee break.

It is a typical breakfast in the field. You usually are very hungry at this point, even if you had breakfast at 7.00am.

So you can recharge your batteries with ready-sliced meat and bread, cheese and chocolate, and to top it off, a cup of wine (or 2+ for some).

After 20-30 minutes, you test your will, and you go back to work until lunchtime, around 12.30 pm.

You have lunch and get a well-deserved nap and go back to the field until 6.30 pm.

At that point, you take a shower, and you have dinner.

If you are in the mood, you hang out with some good folks until your body reminds you that you are no longer 16 and you must go to bed.

Rinse and repeat.

Now it doesn’t sound that thrilling if I put it this way, I know.

But I can tell you that the mixture of working and living with complete strangers, pushing the boundaries of your physical endurance, and singing in the field can free up your mind and gives you the boost that you need to get back to your life all pumped up.

On top of that, you get to wander in beautiful scenery during your days off, visit the ‘canteen’ where the alchemy of grapes takes place and taste the best local wine during the goodby celebration when the ‘vendange’ is over (the wine that you drink every day is not of highest, but it is good enough).

salary for grape picking in France
Coffee break

Food And Accommodation

Flash News: most vineyards don’t provide board and lodging. That’s why getting a job through Apcon is such a good deal. 

However, cabins at the vineyard are not Hilton luxury rooms with a balcony. 

If you don’t mind staying in a shared dormitory, you will have all you need to mingle and connect with other people and get some rest. Heating is usually provided.

If you do value privacy, I strongly recommend that you bring your own tent (if you have also your own car, that’s even better!).

If you have a car and the vineyard is not too far away, you could try Couchsurfing or team up with other pickers or friends and rent a holiday home (although that will probably cost you your whole salary). 

If you are not in for the money and you don’t mind doing some planning, that is also an option. Lastly, you could look for a campsite renting a mobile home.

Wherever you choose, make sure to block some time away for your daily self-care routine and spend some time on your own – check out my unique tips below.

Although you get three copious meals and two coffee breaks that will fill your stomach for good at some vineyards, that’s not the case everywhere.

Getting your own food usually requires having a car so that you could get to local shops nearby. Honestly, that’s too much hassle. 

That’s why I strongly recommend you find a place where food and lodging are provided.

Did you miss my tips on how to find the best grape picking jobs in France? Scroll back to the previous chapter 🙂

grape picking jobs in france

Unique Tips  – From Someone Who Has Done It Many Times

Learn Basic French – Seriously?

Some people strongly recommend that you learn Basic French to be in France picking jobs in vineyards.

Although learning the basics can go a long way, you don’t really need to. At least one of the farmers can usually understand or handle a basic conversation in English.

If that is not the case, most of the fellow pickers usually speak good English.

If you aim to find work through the Pole Emploi, then you might need to learn at least a couple of French words, such as ‘travailler’ (work), ‘vendange’ (wine harvest), ‘picker’(cueilleur).

That’s it. If you get a local to make the phone calls for you, you won’t even need that.

That said, learning a new language is fun, and you could even challenge yourself to learn a word or two a day and practice with your coworkers or the farmers.

Outfit And Gear

Most grape picking tools are usually provided on the spot. 

All you need is to wear comfortable clothes. Make sure to pack a lot of T-shirts (you will sweat a lot :)), a couple of jumpers for colder days as well as a tracksuit.

Sometimes you might find yourself walking on a rocky trail, so you might want to get a pair of sturdy seasonal work boots.

grape picking jobs in france work boots

These days, farmers use a lot of chemicals, so I haven’t come across lots of insects, spiders, or mosquitoes.

That said, you might indeed find some insects. Since repellents are not always provided, if you like to plan everything safely beforehand, make sure to get all you need to chase your worries away.

You will most likely enjoy sunny days and a temperate climate when doing vineyard jobs France summer. Don’t forget to buy sunscreen!

Some farmers even provide you with wellies and a raincoat. Don’t leave this to chance! I got sick because I didn’t prepare accordingly once. It was horrible!

Quick summary of what to pack : 

grape picking jobs in france raincoat

Self-care Daily Routine

Alright! Grape picking need not be a backbreaking job if you know what to do.

First off, you will be taught the right technique once you arrive at the vineyard. So make sure to bend over without hunching over and curving your back. If you can’t squat properly, practice before you go.

Then, here is a pro tip for you.

Every morning and, most importantly, at the end of the working day, make sure to stretch at least for 10-20 minutes.

It might not seem that hard, but trust me, after stressing your body all day long, you won’t feel like stretching at all.

Test your willpower, and just do it.

It will make a huge difference, and you will have little to no pain (or at least much less pain) in your muscles.

Remember to shower as well! That will be easier.

pay for grape picking in France
Group photo

FAQ On Grape Picking Jobs In France

How Much Do You Get Paid To Pick Grapes In France?

The average pay to pick grapes in France is 70 EUR (76 USD) for 8 hours of work daily. This includes food and accommodation and varies according to region. The pay is based on the minimum wage in France, which changes every year. Carriers, who carry baskets full of grapes, earn slightly more than pickers. 

Where Is The Grape Harvest In France?

The grape harvest in France usually starts in August in the southern regions of Corsica, Languedoc-Roussillon, and Provence. Towards September, the rest of the Vallee du Rhone, Bordeaux, and Burgundy will start their harvest. Alsace and Champagne generally join in at the end of September, and the last ones are Cognac and Lorraine in early October. 

What Month Are Grapes Harvested In France?

Grapes are usually harvested in France from August to October. The harvest season, also known as ‘La Vendange’, starts in the southern regions where the climate is warmer and ends in the northern regions. Actual harvest dates depend on the weather conditions during the previous spring and summer and are determined by local wine experts. 

What Is The Most Widely Grown Grape In France?

The most widely grown grape in France is Merlot. It is grown in over 288,000 acres of vineyard, mostly in Bordeaux, which is more than 30% of the total vineyard area in France. Merlot is a red grape variety that produces a medium to full-bodied wine with fruity flavors and soft tannins. 

What Do You Wear When Picking Grapes?

When picking grapes, wear the following:

  1. Long pants and sleeves protect your skin from scratches and the sun. Make sure you can move around easily in your clothes. 
  2. Sturdy, closed-toes shoes to protect your feet from sharp vines.
  3. Sunscreen and a hat to protect your face and neck.
  4. Wellies and a raincoat for rainy days.
  5. Insect repellent for bugs.

How To Find A Job In France?

To find a job in France, you can try these ways:

  • EURES for those from EU/EFTA.
  • Government job sites like Pole Emploi and APEC for French nationals.
  • Online job boards like Indeed and Monster.
  • Work with recruitment agencies that are recognized by Prism Emploi
  • Network with people in the field that you’re interested in.

What Is A French Vineyard Called?

A French vineyard is called a “chateau” or “domaine”. They typically refer not just to the vineyard but the entire estate itself, including the winemaking facilities. A vineyard enclosed by a wall is known as a “clos”. Clos vineyards are associated with famous high-quality wines because the walls improve the mesoclimate of the area. 

Which Country Is Rich In Grapes?

China is the country that is richest in grape production. According to FAO, China produced more than 14 million tonnes of grapes in 2020, which makes up around 19% of global production. This is followed by Italy (10.5%) and Spain (8.7%). Other major grape producers include France and the United States.


You can find other types of fruit picking jobs in France, in case drinking wine for a couple of weeks does not fit you. 

If you google ‘fruit picking jobs france’, you might find some information related to fruit picking in France. 

Again, I recommend you look into the Pole Emploi for this kind of opportunity as well. I have met many people who have worked as apple pickers for over a month, so just dig in, and you’ll find what suits you.

I hope you enjoyed this guide and you are now more than excited to plan your grape picking jobs in France adventure!

So get ready for your next adventure and have fun!

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