I haven’t been nodding off, I’ve been just temporarily out of action.
My mind though, has been in overdrive and whirring and whirring. It’s been having a huge time, chock full of stuff – crap, weird stuff, joy, confusion, peace, weird stuff – buzzing like the beautiful bumblebees around me in the garden right now.
But as Spring gets into its step, I am starting too as well. I can get up, get out, bloody well brushing off the dirt from the last scrape. The mind is buzzing and ready to clear out the crap.
Just one of those little chunks of life that reminds you (again) that it’s good to have life (again).
Please don’t chuck. I’m sorry for the harp music, the chubby little cherubs and the waffle – sounds like I’ve lost it (again), but I mean it.
And stuff it, they’re flying right above me now with the bumblebees.
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.
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…
‘Les Vendanges’ (harvest) will begin remarkably late for us this year, with picking beginning as late as one week from now. Yes we’re enjoying beautiful sunny days in these first few days of September, but the grapes are having a hard time ripening due to 2013’s fairly cool Spring and late Summer. Waiting waiting waiting. Benji’s getting those annual, pre-mens vendanges nerves and I’m keeping food on the table…
But even if the grapes aren’t all sweet and ripe for the picking, there is some ripe fruit to be had… After an evening’s inspection of the vignes (vines), we’ve been tucking into the wild mures (blackberries) out the back!…