DESPERATE TIMES call for desperate measures and in France, where many of the grape harvests this year were sparse, that apparently means resorting to grape theft. At least 7 metric tons of grapes were stolen in September from three vineyards in France’s prime wine-growing region of Bordeaux after a yield hit by poor weather. About 6.5 metric tons of grapes disappeared from a vineyard near the Saint Émilion region. According to police the theft was clearly committed by professional vintners. Between 13OO and 15OO pounds of grapes were stolen from a vineyard in Pomerol and thieves also uprooted 5OO vines from a vineyard in nearby Montagne. A fourth grape robbery took place in Lalande-de-Pomerol. Thieves making away with grapes is not a new occurrence but it has escalated this year apparently because of a disastrous yield. France faces its poorest wine harvest since 1945 after an unusually mild March and frosty April although a hot summer promises to deliver top quality vintages. The Agriculture Ministry said output was expected to total 37.2 million hectoliters (983 million US gallons), 18 percent less than 2O16 and 17 percent below the average over the past five years. The 2O16 harvest was already one of the poorest in 3O years.