Wednesday, September 2, 2009
It Has Begun....
Well, the getting ready has begun and is done. The first call of the morning came from Amy and Matt in the vineyard. " Will you come out and help us take a grape sampling?" It was a gorgeous morning, therefore, how could we say no? We wondered through the vineyard each with a plastic bag in hand. Not looking at the grapes, we plucked randomly from the bunches, tasting along the way. These grapes would go to the oenologist to tell us when our picking should begin.
Stopping at our house, the neighbors gathered in the street to hear when the picking would begin. The giggles rose from the group and others stopped to know what was happening. Yes, the picking should begin on Thursday.
Our next adventure---or should I say chore, was to pull everything out of storage, clean and stack the crates ready to go on the truck for the vineyard.
First came the crates that will hold all of those juicy grapes as they are picked from the vines. They had to come up from the storage in the grenier (attic) to the top of the cuve (where the wine is made). Down a ladder they were passed and stacked in the courtyard ready for loading on the truck.
Next came the cleaning of the secateurs . Some had escaped cleaning last fall and needed to be refreshed.
A barrel had to be hoisted to the top of the cuve to be filled along with three others with wine waiting to be bottled. The vat that was emptied had to be cleaned in order that the grapes picked on Friday have a home. The larger concrete vats were also cleaned and a disinfectant put on then totally rinsed out.
It was a long day. We spilled a little wine, got a little wet, but accomplished a lot.
In the evening we returned to Amy's, not for work, but to play Mah Jongg!
On last Friday we picked the Roussanne which is a white grape. See Amy's blog, La Gramiere.com to watch a video on the pressing. This is all sweet, sticky juice that the bees enjoyed.
Sunday we picked a few rows of grenache to make rosé. It will remain on the skins a very short time so that the color will be a wonderful pink/red. I have my glass ready. As you can see, my hands are acquiring the wonderful colors of the grape. Actually, they just look dirty.
Picking has been changed to Friday. Amy is going to Paris on Thursday for the party on launching "her" wine book. (It will be published in the US this fall in English.)
My recipes are gathered, the market visited, and cooking is taking place everyday. Friday, Saturday and Sunday we should have between 20 to 30 wonderful volunteers to provide a picnic lunch for in the vineyard. (Actually, we do it everyday.) As you can imagine, after a morning of picking, each one will be very hungry.
The weather is cooler, thank goodness. One more day and the rush begins!