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Firefly Hill Vineyards Has Their Entire Crop of Grapes Stolen off the Vines Overnight

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I saw that and then made the mistake of reading in the comments.  Folks are saying "but it's just a bunch of grapes, why get your knickers in a twist."  As if they could lose a year's worth of their base salary.  

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Something weird about this story.  What do you do with stolen grapes?  Make your own wine without stating where the grapes come from?  Sell the grapes? To whom?

I know nothing about the vineyard industry.  Maybe someone can shed some light.

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On 9/14/2018 at 12:54 PM, Ericandblueboy said:

Something weird about this story.  What do you do with stolen grapes?  Make your own wine without stating where the grapes come from?  Sell the grapes? To whom?

I know nothing about the vineyard industry.  Maybe someone can shed some light.

I think it would be fairly easy to either sell the grapes directly into the bulk market or press them yourself (assuming you've got the gear) and see them into the bulk wine market.  My understanding is that the bulk market is much, much bigger than most of us know.

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Firefly Hill growers were set to harvest Tuesday morning; arrived to find vines picked.

"Winery Reports Overnight Theft of Grape Harvest" by Mike Gangloff on roanoke.com

Given the punishment for being caught, this was an incredibly brazen operation. Someone "knew" the grapes were ripe for picking, and this must have taken multiple people several hours to perform (5,000 pounds of grapes). Plus, it was dark, and people needed to know the layout of the vineyard.

How could this not have been either employees (8 of whom were supposed to show up the next day to pick the grapes), contractors, or (less likely) a neighboring winery? Has anything like this ever been done before in the history of the world? There are so many unanswered questions: Were Firefly Hill's crates used? If so, then it could have been employees, thinking that if they got caught, they could just say, "We were just getting an early start." I suspect all the clues needed to solve this mystery are already in the hands of police - a worst-case scenario for Firefly Hill would be if the "8 employees" were contracted, itinerant grape pickers, who turned out to be fly-by-night thieves ... this is entirely possible.

Here is the original Facebook post:

Screenshot 2018-09-16 at 15.28.25.png

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