Wine Quote of the Week

"Days of wine and roses laugh and run away,
Like a child at play"
Johnny Mercer

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Wine Harvest has begun!

The vines are heavy with grapes here late August in the South of France - reminding me of dairy cows ready to be milked, and it's time for the farmers now to milk their vines ( ok, easy to spot that I'm just back from holidays in Ireland!) and start the harvesting of their precious fruit that they have been carefully tending to for the last 12 months.

It is such a sight to behold , groups of weatherbeaten pickers hunched over the vines, working their way slowly and surely ( and back breakingly) through the fields as they gather up the fruit of their labours.
The old tractors and trailers then come bouncing down the laneways, laden down with mounds of grapes, leaving a trail of grape juice in their wake, to deliver their precious cargo to the wine cellars where the process of making the wine commences.

The time for picking the grapes depends on a number of factors : the grape variety, the weather and what the grapes are going to be used to make.
In my mind, there is no better time to visit the vineyards than now and for the next two months or so. The vineyards are electric with activity, the excitement is palpable, the tensions high and the sights and smells are unforgettable.

With The French Tour Co, we take you behind the scenes on our Wine tours where we get as close to the wine making action as possible.
If you're feeling energetic, a half days picking with vigneron lunch can even be arranged.

.. And then there is the collective sigh of relief once the harvest is finished and the grapes are safely indoors. The relief is marked by the Harvest Festivals - a celebration of the successful harvest and of a job well done.

The French Tour Co are organising a fantastic Wine and Pamper weekend to coincide with the Harvest Festival in October. See here for details and to book online.

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