Our history and background

About us

Appellation Contrôlée | Apcon connects pickers with farmers in France since 1994. From personal experience we know which are good places to work: good conditions, pleasant atmosphere and much contact with colleagues and other cultures and customs. We personally looked for and selected the places where we book jobs for harvest work. Apcon is an organisation registered in the Netherlands and it meets all the legal requirements necessary to organise and offer these programmes.

Our history

Appellation Contrôlée dates back to 1994 when it started out of what originally was a hobby: working and travelling about through Europe. It proved to be the best way to travel cheaply and to get to places where not many do: at the tables in the homes of employers, colleagues and many others.

We started with a programme in France after many friends and acquaintances had asked us to give them addresses etc. We know from experience that you can get by from work and what the land provides in any season. However, we would like to caution you: after two weeks in a vineyard or a southern orchard you’ll be dead tired, satisfied and so restless that you probably don’t want to go home anymore; in love with somebody or the region; you name it…. Have a taste of that freedom!

Our work

All our international programmes are based on personal work experience. We visit all farmers personally, enter into an agreement with them, examine the amenities and the like and we figure out how you can get there, e.g. by means of public transport.

Happy pickers
Satisfied farmers
Regions in France
Grapes picked 🙂
''My boyfriend had been grapepicking before and asked me along on the next harvest, when we first met. Actually quite tricky, talking me into a job that involves burning sun, sticky grape juice and heavy buckets. But I loved being in the French countryside with him. This year will be our third grape harvest together.''- Anna (Belgium, 23)
''I always used to do physical work, but it turned into an office job over the years. Which is fine, as long as I get my two weeks off around the grape harvest. Plain physical labour, phone switched off, good solid meals, wine straight from the cellar. Just, back to basics you could say. It recharges my battery for the rest of the year.''- Peter (The Netherlands, 45)
''We didn't really know what to expect, but this seemed like a good way to travel without spending money on hotels and groceries. The team was great, eight different nationalities, but actually felt like family after a week in the fields together. We're still on Facebook with some of them.''- Fiona and Jamie (UK, 19)
''I've always wanted to know more about the process of making wine. I speak some french, but finding a farmer who harvests manually ánd provides food and a dormitory turned out to be a challange; like looking for a needle in a haystack.''- Irini (Greece, 34)

Curious about the grapepicking programme we offer and/or the practical information considering the programme?