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.