Tag Archives: picking grapes

picking

11 Oct
Ambroise emptying 'la hotte'

Ambroise emptying ‘la hotte’

Picking at last.

There’s been stops and starts… and now it’s all GO to get the grapes in.

We’re harvesting three weeks later than previous years, but it’s shaping up to be a pretty good ‘recolte’ … there’s a charged atmosphere and smiles all round.

I’ll fill you in on this harvest over a few posts, but here’s a selection of pics from today, in and out of our village.

(you may note some ‘fx’ in the images – my dear old camera is on the blink so what you see are the results of lumping around with a clunky electronic rectangle)

woke to to the noise of the harvester outside the kitchen window

woke to to the noise of the harvester outside the kitchen window

tent-picking

tent-picking

checking out the noise... a tractor cruising down the driveway

checking out the noise… a tractor cruising down the driveway

picking 1

pick cal1

here comes the sun

cal pick3

empty 2

empty 3

empty 4

cal 7

house on the prairie

pick cal 2Meanwhile, back in the village…

ca 4

chat arnaud

clearing out remains of the ‘pressoir’ (press)

ca 3

the Vigneron having a spray

the Vigneron having a spray

...and the ladies are still out checking the 'raisins'

…and the ladies are still out checking the ‘raisins’

 

allo allo – an update from the vines #2

5 Sep
happy vines in the Minervois

Happy vines in the Minervois, as far as the eye can see

It looks like the weather has very much picked up:  it’s sunny and blue-skied with cool, northerly winds to help dry out the vines.  The nights are fresh and the days warm and it’s forecast to stay like this for the week (we have the ‘meteo’ info on the computer here, updating 24/7!) which makes for a happy vigneron in the house.

This morning was particularly beautiful and there was a wonderful hum in our area today – of expectation, new starts and industry.  The sky was clear, children all went back to school and many of the grape growers were beginnng their harvest.

our garden this morning

The weather's going to be fine today!

our apple tree

our apples are ready for the picking

happy walkers

happy walkers

I can’t begin to tell you how much the atmosphere changes around here once people begin to pick their grapes.  A whole year’s work and energies culminate in this event and the villages are charged with excitement.

As for any farmer about to harvest, the weather reports are extremely important at this time of year.  Any dodgy behaviour – hail, rain, extreme heat – can disturb or destroy the whole year’s work.  Stressful times indeed, until all those babies are in, safe in their presses or tanks.

I’ve often pondered this while picking grapes (and how much time you have to ponder!) as looks of stress etched themselves on Benji and his vineyard managers’ faces as the skies filled with ominous storm clouds.  But for me, these ideas of vulnerability for the poor grapes were quickly erased by the more exciting idea of ditching secateurs and having the rest of the day off.  Maybe even the next day off too!  Outrageously WRONG!!!

It wasn’t until I was following a small tractor today, loaded with white grapes, that I fully understood the joy for the growers finally taking their kiddies to their cellars.

off to the cave with the white grapes

following a tractor heading back to the cave with a load of white grapes

Bring on the harvest!

happy vines in the region

Minervois vineyards

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