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.
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.