26 September 2012

Les vendangeurs

Not much grape-harvesting could be done yesterday, because it rained much of the day. Monday afternoon, however, the two guys in the pictures below, employees of the Domaine de la Renaudie, were out gathering white-wine grapes all afternoon.

One guy drives the harvester up and down the rows of vines...

I know and frequently talk to both of these guys at other times of the year, when they are out in the vineyard on foot, working at pruning the vines. They usually work with a third person, who's a young woman. I don't know any of them by name, but they certainly know Callie the collie.

...and the other waits nearby with the tractor and trailer
to haul the harvested grapes back to the winery

I was walking with Callie, who doesn't like cars, trucks, tractors, or harvesters, so I couldn't get very close to the action Monday afternoon. The dog was aware of the machines, but we gave them wide berth.

The full view is this photo, taken from the other side of the vineyard.

We've had about 20 mm — nearly an inch — of rain over the past three days. That's exactly twice as much rain as we got in all of August, or in the first three weeks of September. The red grapes, and some white grapes (Chenin Blanc, maybe) are still on the vine. I wonder if they aren't letting those grapes plump up as the vines suck up rainwater before they finally harvest them.


  1. LOL Déformation professionnelle? On food! Or is it your subconscious playing tricks?

  2. It's just hard for me to imagine how machines do this work!

  3. If they take up a lot of water after all this dry weather, the grapes could split and go mouldy. I'm not surprised the guys are harvesting as soon as they can. Smaller quantity, but higher quality we all hope!

  4. Merci, CHM. My fingers have a mind of their own.

    Tim, the grapes sorely needed plumping up, since August and September were so dry. I'm sure the vignerons are keeping an eye on them to make sure they don't plump to the point of splitting.

    Judy, I think the machines shake the vines violently to knock the grapes off and then use suction to pull them into a hopper.

  5. In the years to come people will probably look back on 2012 as a mediocre wine year with some great 'cuvées' here and there, limited stock and some rare AOCs selling at high prices. That's how it usually goes.
    Hope you are well and enjoying the 'vendages'! Martine


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