The Vigneron at work

27 Oct
squeeze those babies

squeeze those babies

That’s it.  The grapes are all in and the Vigneron is content.  No more 24/7 reading of satellite images and predicted weather patterns on numerous websites, he can relax and is relieved that this region has been pretty bloody lucky with its weather.

The grapes on the vines looked great and ripened slowly resulting in fruit with a lower baume and high maturity.  So, enfin, 2013 looks like a good year!  The man is happy.

Autumn vines, La Liviniere

Autumn vines, La Liviniere

Autumn vines 2

I came down from the hill rather early a couple of mornings ago and had a peek at what was going on in the cellar.  I love the smell in there.  Takes me back to when we met.  OK squeaky violins time – yes, harvest time is special for me, it was during a harvest, all those years ago, that the V and I met.  I was in my hometown, Adelaide and he was ‘the Frenchie’, with little English (come on, admit it), clad in King Gee work gear, a divine Roman nose, working long vintage hours for a winemaker friend – that swept me off my feet.

Fast forward a decade or more, and I am still smitten when I smell the tanks of fermenting grapes in the cellar (oh to bottle this in a jar, a quick whiff and happy married couple all over again…).

‘Les Vendanges’ is a dynamic time and as I’ve said many times before, the village comes alive when the grapes are coming in.  A whole year’s work is reaping its rewards and the old tractors are out on every village road, chugging in full force with trailers laden with glistening grapes.  Even our baby was born on the first day of an Aussie harvest…

But let me get back to where I started.  I was in the village early one morning this week and called in on the V to see what was going on in his cellar.  The red grapes are all resting in their tanks and every couple of days they’re  ‘pumping-over‘.  After a month of this, they will put it all through the press.  One more step towards a delightful, drinkable juice.

Here’s some images for you from that morning, in and out of the cellar…

hq bn

ben at work

Benji in the cellar

Benji and Yves



juicy Grenache


gren a gren bthe Grenache resting in wooden 'tank'

the Grenache resting in wooden ‘tank’

And over the road…

the neighbours opposite

the neighbours opposite, Domaine Arnaud

yves 2

…another neighbour, another Yves – of Chateau Faiteau, the cousin of Domaine Arnaud…(in a village, it’s all family)


Eloise, downtown La Liviniere

downtown La Liviniere

Eloise and Fanny

Eloise and Fanny


heart door


laundry wall

aut col

…and the ride back up the hill to home

autumn col 1

8 Responses to “The Vigneron at work”

  1. Freddie Kaz at 8:44 am #

    Dearest ❤
    reading those lines, i feel beamed over to La Liviniere and see all through your eyes. What a precious moment this morning!
    Bis hugs to ya and your beloved ones!

    • The vigneron's wife at 9:48 pm #

      Dearest K,
      thanks a lot for your lovely words – I am glad you got to share a ‘moment’ with us. lots of love xo

  2. Isabelle Brunet at 10:31 am #

    Beautiful pictures and sweet life & people in villages of France!

  3. Nat at 10:39 am #

    Bonjour chère cousine,
    Quel bonheur de lire ton blog et pouvoir partager un peu de votre vie ! Chouette de voir the V renifler son trésor 😉
    Plus que quelques jours et nous serons en Charentes .. Vous allez vraiment nous manquer, il faudra refaire ça au printemps un jour pour que vous soyez plus au calme ! On boira un coups au vendanges 2013 et surtout a la santé de tes parents .. J’espère que les choses s’arrangent un peu la bas..
    On vous embrasse bien fort
    A très bientôt,
    Nat & co

    • The vigneron's wife at 9:51 pm #

      Chere Nath, merci beaucoup pour tes gentils mots et ton soutien. I will miss seeing you guys very much, but have a lovely time and boire un petit Pineau dans notre absence! Gros bises a vous 3. xo

  4. phipster1 at 11:47 am #

    I love the photo of the old door with a heart shaped hole in it. The carpenter must have been a romantic fellow………

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