Sunday, September 04, 2005

Pre-Harvest Sunday

Pinot Meunier
Originally uploaded by oiseau.

We expect that the harvest will be called (the AOC decides the date, not the vinegrowers) around the 12th September.

With only a few days notice given before the start, Frog Family are trying to get as much ready as possible (in between visiting Father Frog in hospital, where he is doing well after his operation). Frog and his brother spent time last week cutting back the leaves on the vines, to ensure the last of the summer's strong sun reaches the grapes.

Frog and I took today for ourselves. Since we haven't had time for a good argument in a while, we seemed to devote this morning to that and then had a far more pleasurable time cycling around the vines and nearby villages this afternoon. It was hot! Thirty degrees and I've created the strap marks I spent all summer trying hard to avoid.

As you can see, the grapes are looking beautiful. I peeled and tried a Chardonnay grape. They never taste like the ones on the supermarket shelf (they're not allowed to water them and too much water content is undesirable) but there was some sweetness in the juicy flesh.

Amongst all the butterflies, bees and wild flowers that grow by the vines, I spotted a small cluster of rosehips. I had been thinking about them just this week, in the Hamburg hotel who served rosehip jam for breakfast. I tucked into it and thought of when mum used to make rosehip syrup for us when we were small. There weren't enough of the ripe hips to collect today, so maybe I'll go back after harvest.

Given the hills I cycled today (we're not next to the Montagne de Reims for nothing) I'll need that time to recover!

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