21 September 2012


The grape harvesters — les vendangeurs — arrived before seven this morning. As I said in a comment yesterday, they've already taken in all the Chardonnay grapes down the hill on the north side. The vendanges are definitely under way. And rain is predicted for this afternoon, which probably explains the early start today.

The grape harvester and tractor came by at 7:00 a.m., headlights shining,
passing under our kitchen window along the road.

When I say vendangeurs, don't picture teams of grape pickers in this case. I'm talking about grape harvesting equipment — a big engin that shakes and sucks the grapes off the vines as it runs up and down the rows, and a tractor pulling a big, deep trailer to receive the grapes and haul them back to the winery. There are probably just two or three men from the winery crew out there getting the job done.

If the winery crew looked up, they saw our loft window
and the roof we had worked on yesterday.

Meanwhile, we have to get serious about preparing for the end of the season too. A couple of days ago, the weather widget on my computer screen said the low temperature in Saint-Aignan was –1ºC, or 30ºF. Today it says +1ºC. I don't think it's really that cold; the weather people must keep their thermometer in an icebox.  Ours says +6ºC (still, that's only the low 40s F).

Two views of the Renaudière vineyard, just a few hundred yards from the house

So the mornings are chilly. There was frost just outside the back gate when I went out with the dog an hour ago. I'll be busy today — as busy as the vendangeurs and hopefully as productive. I'm painting still, and my new radio came at 7:45 this morning. It's charging up now, and it has already connected itself to our wireless router. While coats of paint are drying, I'll be fiddling with internet radio.


  1. Wow, that was fast delivery of the radio! Your house looks lovely with those clean windows and beautiful flowers in the window boxes.

  2. Checked Amazon for internet
    radios. There's a wide, wide
    array, with prices all under
    $200. So many to choose from
    it's confusing. Help!

  3. The last picture is very beautiful. Gives you an appreciation of different "greens" :-)

  4. Thanks, Beaver, I hadn't thought about the greens in that last picture. They are beautiful -- thanks not to me but to my camera and to Nature.

    Sheila, I already love my little Archos 35 Home Connect radio. I can do e-mail on it, view blogs, play radio, and what all. I've only been playing with in for a few hours and right now I have it hooked up to my stereo system, playing Chante France radio. Great sound quality that way, but even the little speakers give good sound that will keep me company in the kitchen.

  5. A couple of questions:
    Do you need to connect through TuneIn Radio (tunein.com) to access radio stations using your Archos 35?

    Also, has the harvest always been mechanized since you've lived there or was it still being done by gangs of pickers when you first arrived 9 years ago?

    Beautiful flowers in your window boxes, by the way.

  6. Hi Dean, the grape harvest here has been mechanized, for the most part, since before we arrived here nearly 10 years ago. The wine operations here are small-scale and the wines don't command high prices, so mechanization makes it all economically feasible.

    Yes, I'm using TuneIn radio. Some stations I wanted (ChanteFrance, France Inter, Radio Canada, etc.) didn't show up on the station lists (as far as I could tell), but with the search function I found them right away and saved them as favorites. Right now I have the Archos radio hooked into my stereo system and I'm listening to Eddy Mitchell sing Il n'y a rien qui remplace un amour on Nostalgie Chansons Françaises... and reliving my youth in Paris etc.


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