the grapes are GO on Boulevard Napoleon

the grapes have arrived at the cellar
grapes fresh from the vineyard, lined up waiting to be de-stemmed

Well that’s it for picking this year.  All the grapes are in, busy fermenting, creating heat in the tanks and Benji can breathe a sigh of relief.  We’ve had good amounts of sunshine and wind, no hail, no rot – now it’s time to leave the grapes to do their stuff in the winery and see what sort of juices evolve.

Benji and tractor at la cave (the wine cellar) on Boulevard Napoleon
Benji at ‘la cave’ (the wine cellar) on Boulevard Napoleon

These photos show the last of the grapes from the harvest – the Grenache – coming in.  We hung around for a couple of hours to see the action. It might sound nerdy, just hanging around and watching grapes go into a machine for processing, but really, it was quite exciting!  Really!  There’s something about the odour, the colours, the satisfaction on the faces of the grape growers seeing their fruit finally picked and about to perform their transformation.

As I’ve already said, the harvest is a wonderful time to witness.  And it was just great taking in the blokes’ excitement in the cellar.

ready to unload
ready to unload into the crusher
Yves emptying the grenache grapes into the crusher
Yves emptying grenache grapes into the crusher
Benji and Pierre ready for the first delivery
Benji and Pierre waiting for the grapes to come through from the first delivery
Pierre photographing his fruit
Pierre (le viticulteur) photographing his babies
les filles in the 'sandpit'
les filles keeping busy in the ‘sandpit’

The grapes were carefully emptied from their ‘caisses’ (box/basket) one by one into the de-stemmer/crusher (yes, it does what it says, plucks the berries from their stems and sorts away the leaves)  which then drops the glistening little purple ‘beads’ (they look like jewellery) onto the sorting tray.  They are dropped down into another tray, with a huge turning ‘screw’ and then pumped up through the red hose, straight into the tank.  Some of the grapes were collected into buckets and emptied directly into wine barrels (second-hand, so not full-blown wood influences on the juice).  A small experiment to develop different flavours.

If the wine is as delicious as the berries tasted, everyone will be happy!…

stacked and waiting to go
stacked and waiting to go
coming through
coming through
viniclean
viniclean
the factory line
the factory line
into the tank
up into the tank
Grenache
100% Grenache
first taste of the juice!
first taste of the juice!
Jerome passing by
Jerome passing by
Bleu Blanc Rouge
Bleu Blanc Rouge (thanks Mat!)
cleaning up
cleaning up

7 thoughts on “the grapes are GO on Boulevard Napoleon

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