11 September 2015


The term used in France to name the grape harvest is « les vendanges ». Usually around Saint-Aignan, les vendanges take place in September, but harvesting can start as early as August or as late as October. This year the summer was warm, rainfall was infrequent, and the harvest is now. The grapes are pretty.

Most of the harvest around the Touraine is done by machine, but some vineyard parcels are harvested by hand. I've noticed more of that this year than in the past. Wine prices in the area have gone up quite a bit over the past five years, so maybe the vignerons (growers-producers) can afford to hire more workers than in the past.


The vignerons seem to be harvesting white-wine grapes for the time being. A lot of Sauvignon Blanc grapes have been taken in already. The parcel of Chardonnay grapes down the hill, north of our house, has been done too.

Red grapes — Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Côt (known as Malbec elsewhere), Pinot Noir, and Pineau d'Aunis — are still on the vines. It's supposed to rain this weekend, but I haven't seen any mad scramble to start picking them so far.


Let's hope the weather goes back to sunny and mild by Monday or Tuesday. Too much damp weather won't be good for the grapes that are still on the vine, and it will also be bad for our tomatoes, many of which are still ripening.

I took all these photos, including the sunrise above, yesterday morning, using my Canon SX700 camera. I have come to the conclusion that I get better close-ups when I don't put it into macro mode to take them. As you can see, the weather was perfect for photography at eight o'clock in the morning.


  1. The close-ups of the grapes are wonderful. The tractor photo makes me realize the very large scale of the harvest. Love the sunrise photo as well.

  2. That's a bounty of beautiful colors :)

  3. Magical photos of grapes on the vines.


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