20 September 2015

Bringing in the grapes, and maybe some collard greens

Thursday morning, before the heaviest rains started falling, the crews were out harvesting grapes. Friday morning, before the heavy afternoon rains started falling, the vignerons and their crews were out there again. It was a race against time. But there are still vineyard plots of red wine grapes where the fruit is still on the vine.

The grapes above are Chenin Blanc, I'm pretty sure — they are left on the vines until later and then made into "tender", medium-dry late-harvest wines. As far as I can see, all the Sauvignon Blac grapes, the areas staple white wine grape for dry wines, have been taken in now.

Friday morning, two guys from the Domaine de la Renaudie were out working in a couple of plots of red wine grapes — Cabernet Franc, I think, on one side, and Côt (Malbec) on the other. Harvesting is done by machine. They were rained out by mid-afternoon, when the torrential rains came.

The two guys here were working right outside our back gate. The blue tractor pulls a trailer used to take the grapes down to the winery, a mile or so away, for pressing and, later, after fermentation, bottling.

One crop we've planted has really been enjoying the damp weather we've had in September is my patch of collard greens. Maybe they should be called "blues" — you can see what a bluish color the leaves had. The variety is called Vates Blue, actually.

It's almost time for me to start cutting some of the bigger bottom leaves and cooking them for the table or for the freezer. I might begin doing that this week. Meanwhile, though, we have to keep track of the tomatoes as they continue ripening. Anyway, collards supposedly taste better after the leaves have been touched by the first frosts of autumn. I'll probably be harvesting the blue-green leaves a few at a time until Christmas, or even into 2016.


  1. Love that high tech tractor named "Easy Smart".

    1. I agree...
      but it seems to have another operator trapped inside the engine bay???

  2. I'll make sure Pauline sees the variety of Collard... they look nice plants.
    Our collards, kales and cabbage have recovered from flea 'beatle' attack, too!

    1. Tim, I believe I got my collards and my kale mixed up. Vates Blue is a variety of kale. Another kale variety is Dwarf Blue. Just plain Vates is a collard green variety, as is Blue Max. I'm not even sure what I planted this year, but probably Vates. The description on the Vates collards seed packet says: "an upright Collard with tender, blue-green leaves."


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