10 July 2012

Cooking, walking, and looking

Not to mention taking pictures. Yesterday I posted pictures of cooking. Today, it'll be pictures of walking and looking. I get to do some of that every day, walking with the dog in the vineyard.

I think Callie likes this weather and this life.

This week we have an appointment to go taste and buy wines from our neighbors Patricia and Bruno at the Domaine de la Renaudie. We live in a wine village, and while some local vintners (vignerons) have quit the business over the past seven or eight years, many have continued and a few new ones have planted or acquired vines and starting making and selling wines.

Having the vineyard out back is like having our own private park for our walks. Sometimes I wonder how long we'll keep living here — I've never lived longer in the same house, except when I was growing up — and then I think about the dog and our walks. Where else would be have a long gravel road, hundreds of walkable rows between lines of vines, and no traffic so need for a leash?

Grapes at La Renaudière in early July 2012

Sometimes I dream of living in a city again, but then I wake up and smell the coffee (it's pur arabica).

Tendrils reaching for something to hold onto

As you can see from the pictures, the grapes are developing despite the mediocre 2012 weather. A report on the news this morning featured tourists down on the Mediterranean coast — Provence, Côte d'Azur — thumbing their noses at their compatriots who live in the chilly, damp northern parts of France. That would be us.

Oh well. It's like living in San Francisco, where you watch reports of heat waves, heat stroke, and violent thunderstorms on the TV news and feel like you live in an alternate universe. I don't envy those in eastern parts of the U.S. who've had to endure temperatures in the upper 30s and lower 40s centigrade for a past few weeks. We have just barely hit 30ºC maybe once this year. Mostly, it's been in the low 20s and high teens. That's the 60s and low 70s F.


  1. I love the pink fizz and the sauvignon that Patricia and Bruno make. The tasting there is a great experience.

    Let us know what you think.

  2. Hi Gaynor, we've been there many times for tastings and bought much wine from Patricia and Bruno. We like the Perle de Rosée rosé and the white and rosé "fines bulles" (bubbly). Tomorrow we'll be tasting with Jean and Nick.

    1. Do we only get to taste? I was rather hoping for a swig or two.....

  3. I have placed your lovely recipe for chicken and tarragon in the file of special "blogger suggestions"!But may I ask which white French wine you would suggest to complement it? Many thanks, Louise

  4. Louise, I of course favor Loire Valley wines. A dry Vouvray or a Touraine Sauvignon or a Sancerree... Also a light red like a Touraine, Chinon or Bourgueil Cab Franc would be good.

  5. Ken, are you sure you could live in a city again? Maybe you just need some short trips for a taste of city life. And then you would have the pleasure of coming home after a day or two to your own house and garden.

    You're well placed for some short trips to beautiful cities or towns, not to mention your old favorites, Rouen and Paris. Even Brussels (you know who I have in mind to show you around!)

  6. Love to walking around lovely green vineyard

  7. I just read recently about French drivers now being required to carry a breathalyzer in their cars. Seems the government is trying to reduce the number of accidents & deaths due to drunk driving. From stories read on many French blogs, apparently it is a frequent practice to drive after drinking at extensive wine tastings and lengthy meals with lots of drinking. Do you think the new law will have much effect?

  8. Deaths on French highways are down drastically from levels a few decades ago. Let's hope the toll keeps being reduced.

    One take on the obligatory breathalyzers is the cynical one: the government just doesn't want the police to have to pay for alco-tests any more. Less cynical is the view that the mandatory breath-testers will make people think twice before driving after drinking too much. They can test themselves before getting behind the wheel.

    I don't drive much myself...

    Hi Carolyn, because of dog, cat, and garden, it's not that easy to travel long distances. I do miss many aspects of city life, but the realities would probably drive me mad in very little time. Better to stay here in the country.

  9. I like the photo of the leaves and the tendril.


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