06 January 2013

Living in a vineyard

I never imagined that I would one day live in a vineyard. Maybe I should have suspected that a vineyard would be a good place for me — a good fit. It's not just about the wine it produces. Having the vineyard out back is like having your own private park and hiking area right outside the back gate, and other people to take care of it and keep it beautiful.

When an individual plant dies, the vigneron plants a new one inside a 
cut-off mineral water bottle. The bottle must protect it from pests
that would otherwise damage the tender new plant.

The vineyard is a good place for walking, and an interesting environment to explore, in any season — even winter. It's emblematic of France, a country so orderly and manicured that it sometimes seems to be just one big park.

Callie the collie's view of the vineyard — she just has to choose a row.

The vineyard is an especially good place for walks with a dog. There are dog runs everywhere, and Callie enjoys running up and down the rows of vines just as our first dog, Collette, did. There are seldom any people out there, except the five or six workers who trim the vines and repair the support wires. We know all of them. And there are plenty of animals — deer, hares, small rodents, pheasants, woodpeckers, ravens, and even badgers — to keep the walks exciting.

The Renaudière vineyard on a recent clear day

Yesterday our neighbors D & A invited us over for apéros, reciprocating for our invitation to them before Christmas and wishing us a happy 2013. They showed us pictures of their house as it was back in the 1970s, when they bought it. What a transformation! Of course, they worked on it every summer for 30 years before finally retiring down here a few years ago.


  1. Are the vineyard owners quite happy to let you roam freely on their land?
    Here we could be in trouble if we walked on farmland, even if it appears unused. We have to stick to designated paths, within reason. Some farmers are more tolerant, others will do their best to deter walkers even on official paths.

  2. 30 years of reno. Even just the summers of that span.
    I go crazy after 3 month.....

  3. Jean, the owners seem to be quite unconcerned about our walking through their vines and woods. We know most of them by now.

    H.P., yes, 30 years. They still say they are exhausted at the thought.

  4. No wonder Callie loves running up and down the rows of vines. To her, it must look like a motorway surrounded by forest. :)

  5. Well, it certainly looks lovely from this perspective :) It's nice to have that expanse of privacy, isn't it? Callie must love it.


    p.s. Happy Fête des Rois!

  6. Hi Martine, you are right. Callie said so.

    Hi Judy, happy fete des rois to you too. Walt made a galette filled with creme de marrons today. Amazing.

  7. Thanks, Judy, for the reminder about today's french holiday! I don't have the time to make a galette (as much as I enjoy them!)but I am eager to open Walt's blog and hope I can at least enjoy a photo of his???

    Ken, the idea of living beside a vineyard seems so idyllic to me! I've so enjoyed reading and seeing the various seasons and learning about your lives with the freedom that comes from not being surrounded by other families! People are great but natural beauty cannot be compared - in my book!

  8. Living in, or near, a vineyard also means no one will be building high-rise buildings next to you.

  9. It's so good that both Collette and Callie are able to enjoy the vines and their habitat. We were also lucky to have places to let our dogs run without leashes. Now our grand dog enjoys our woods.

    In KY I had a horse for just a few years and my dog went along on all of our rides and I had no idea that this was special.

    Hope you got the truce in your gallette.

  10. The vineyards always seem so peaceful, and it's good that you are allowed to walked through and enjoy.
    Thanks for posting the photo of the plastic bottle to safeguard the tender baby vine...I shall be using that setup in my own garden with my new plantings.

  11. When we first arrived here in 2003, I went to the mairie and asked whether the gravel road through the vineyard was private or public. They told me it was a public right-of-way, so no problem. The track that runs down the hill from our back gate is also a public right-of-way. I don't think anybody minds that we wander all over the vineyard with the dog. At least I hope nobody minds.


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