16 July 2008

Clipping the vines

Yesterday on his blog Walt talked about the way the grape-growers keep the vines pruned during the growing season. They use special tractors designed to let them drive up and down the rows, straddling each row of vines.

I was looking through some pictures this morning and came across these two from a morning in June when I was out with the dog. These are the vineyards about a mile south of our house at La Renaudière, near Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher in Touraine.

The top picture gives you a good idea of the tractor and the process. The one just above here shows a side view. Both of these are stills that I extracted from movies. I'd post the movies but I'm not sure how to get the quality I want.

The grapes are very nice right now, by the way. Look at these I took pictures of this morning.

Grapes in the Renaudière vineyards

This dying leaf stood out in contrast to the green all around it.

Color contrasts

There are a lot of grapes on many of the vines. I think this is looking like a good year.

A good harvest in the making


  1. gorgeous.
    i'm just reading a really riveting book, in the series i seem to be doing on life in provincial france -- Montaillou by Ladurie -- in which he touches on how completely different life is in the parts of france where there are no fortunes to be made from vines. no huge feudal set up, for starters, more egalite, more heretics. more sheep.
    and, it's really touching to think of these vines producing such beauty and bounty every year.
    thanks again.
    oh, p.s., isn't there some culinary use for the cuttings? like in a smoker to flavor stuff?

    i used to have a sicilian mother in law who beat the corners of the house during spring cleaning with a bundle of last year's vines. to get the demons out.

  2. It looks like it's going to be a great year for grapes..... and wine!


  3. It's so interesting to participate, through your photos, in the life of a vineyard all year around. Looking at the beautiful green grapes, I've been wondering if red grapes are also used to make wines. I'll search on Google. Lifting my glass to you, Walt and Callie. À la vôtre!

  4. Yes, Claudia, some of the grapes will turn red (purple, noirs...) and then will be used to make red or rosé wines. Around here, those grapes are of the Gamay, Malbec (called Côt here in the Loire Valley), Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir varieties. Our favorite local reds are the Gamays, but they are all good.

  5. PJ, yes, people burn the grape clippings and the old grapevine trunks in their barbecues for the flavor of the smoke. And keeping the vines productive is back-breaking work — or at least used to be, before the advent of mechanized farm equipment.

    That's funny about using bundles of grapevine clippings to chase the demons away. A lot of people would say that drinking the wines can put demons in a person...


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?