2 Oct 2008

La Vendange in full swing

I can’t believe the harvest is almost over – it hardly seems a year has gone by. But this year was a bit special for us – we got involved, albeit in a very small way. Well actually, I feel I’m involved all-year round with the end product, doing my bit supporting the local vignerons.

But this year we got out into the vineyard and did a bit of grape harvesting! The four of us – Col, Hass, Nic and me – a couple of hours at best, and then back to the cave to see it processed.

I have started meeting up with Brigitte who lives along this road a little, to help each other improve our French / English. Brigitte and her husband are vignerons (Domaine Monastrel – soon to be the topic of a separate posting here) – and she asked if we would like to do a little grape picking and visit the cave. Well, YES PLEASE! 








And here's Col - eagle-eyed, and dealing with one of them. It didn't stand a chance ..... 


What a fabulous morning it was. We met up with Brigitte at 10 o’clock in the morning (by which time the serious pickers had been at it for hours…) and she took us to small vineyard. They have several parcels of vines – in different locations in the area.

We picked for an hour or so, filling the containers and leaving them under the vines for collection by the men with the tractor. The only instructions were ‘no leaves, no escargots’ ….. easy. 


Obviously we were a little slower at filling our containers than the others (ok, a fair bit slower), but it was lots of fun.

Then off to the new wine cave (second year of use) to watch the very grapes we’d just picked go through the crusher into the vats. 






Col and Hass also made themselves useful in this part of the process by stacking and carting the empty crates outside where the other pickers were washing them. I was busy taking photos…..! 



And the highlight of the whole operation for us? It was when Vincent called us down below, took a wine glass and filled it with the freshly squeezed grapes, still frothy. It was indescribably delicious – I think it’s the best (non-alcoholic!) drink I’ve ever had.



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