06 June 2016

How the vineyard fared

The rain fell heavily and amply, but up here in the vineyard it just ran off. Well, it didn't just run off — it moved a good bit of mud and gravel down toward the edges of the vineyard, which is bordered by what you might call ravines on its north and south sides.

A mostly dry ravine separates two ridges planted in grapevines

On the south side, there's a stream that flows, I believe, year-round. You can't really see it because the ravine is so heavily forested, and I don't think I've ever heard it flowing. I don't plan to climb down there to see. The stream is called la rouère de l'Aulne — you might translate that as "alder creek" in American English. Rouère is a local dialect word, I believe, and must be related to the more standard French term rivière.

The rain knocked all the white flowers off the many locust trees (acacias in French) that grow around the vineyard.

On the north side, there's a ravine that is dry much of the time. A few days ago, however, I noticed that for only the third or fourth time since 2003 you could hear water flowing down there. In fact, it sounded more like a waterfall than a babbling brook. It doesn't have a name, as far as I know.

Mud and gravel flowed down between the rows of vines.

All the water that fell up here, and on the high ground all along the Cher river, ran down into the river itself, swelling it so that it overflowed its banks. The ridges bounded by ravines are good land for grapes because the water runs off pretty fast.

One of the few casualties of the recent storms up on this high ground was a single tree that fell at the edge of a vineyard plot, landing on two or three rows of vines. I don't know why it fell, because we didn't have a lot of wind.

I guess the heavy rain softened the ground the tree was growing in, and the weight of the water on its leaves and branches pulled it down. I wonder if the Renaudie vineyard crew has seen it yet.


  1. Hope they can remove the fallen tree without too much damage to the vines, at least no more than they already encountered.

    1. Trees fall like this, on the vines, nearly every year. A few years ago, a car plowed into a vineyard plot. The vigneron had it all repaired in a few weeks' time.

  2. That's a huge tree!
    After a few days of sunshine and really hot weather, the ground is drying up in the south.

    1. I think that tree was top-heavy, and the ground it was growing in was very wet. Water from three sides flows onto that land and then runs down into the unnamed ravine/stream I mentioned, and showed in the first photo.

  3. Hi -- just catching up with about 2 weeks of unread blog posts. Somehow, once we get to England, the only internet stuff I do is cursory email and facebook checking. Hardly any news. The only TV we get to watch is CBBees -- for a 3-year-old. Back now and starting to catch up. Into Paris now, for the monthly AARO meetup lunch.

  4. The idea of ravines on either side of the vineyard rows is genius. Glad the rain didn't do too much damage. I'd love it if you'd play along with Dreaming of France today. Here’s my Dreaming of France meme

  5. It does look like it was top heavy, look at that wonderful full leafy-ness :) It makes me sad, a healthy huge tree but not enough to hang on with .
    You know the US South - I have a forest behind me but they are all pine trees. Soooo boring :)
    Your photos show how nice and green everything is .. I hope your summer stays green.


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