Tractors are some of the few items of machinery used during the grape harvest here. The steep of the vineyards make mechanisation a challenge, and most things are done manually as they have been since the Romans first introduced grapes to the region.
The harvest falls within a very short window in the year, and getting it wrong could cause the wine to be inferior or even be a total failure. The experience and intuition of the winemaker is the key to deciding when to harvest. Generations of forebears passed on the knowledge of the grapes and how to cultivate them successfully. In fact, wine making in the Mosel region is one of the few crafts that has remained relatively unchanged since ancient times.