Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another time.

Again I am with the vigneron out on the side of the hill, in the vines. When he called me last week and said he had a few days work I was excited - for many reasons. It had been beautiful weather almost all of the month and it was tops for working outside, sunny and warm but not really hot, a chance to work the muscles and bronze the skin before the summer swimsuit season. In reality I needed the money. April had been great and I moved around from one day to the next with plenty to do, but the funds are almost out and anything goes a long way when nothing is the regular course.

In any case I hop at the work for something between those two extremes, money and being outside.

It’s the third time we are meeting in the vineyard and when he tells me where we will meet he calls it by name. I don’t know that vigne, but he describes it and I get it and am also warmed by the fact that all the fields have names. It turns out they refer to events or persons associated with the fields acquisition. It is never without interest.

We are to start on the first of May, a holiday here. May Day - the day of the worker. The farmers world doesn’t run on the state calendar and to me every other day being a holiday it doesn’t really matter. He tells me we will start at 7.30, so that we can get some work in before it gets too hot. The fact that the sun is long up by that time and also that it has been getting kind of hot in the afternoon, all the lolling about recently gets me readily agreeing and looking forward to the three or four days work he says he’s got

We meet in the field at 7.30 sharp, it is grey and overcast and a bit windy but not really unpleasant. The field before me has 23 rows of vines, 120 souche per row. They are in full spring flourish. The green is that vibrant color of freshly sprung leaf, the grey skies giving it a contrast that makes the field seem to quiver with growth, perhaps it’s this quivering that gives the green an almost yellow look. I start to have a small affinity for the vines now this third time through for the year, the taille, the attachment, now we will be clipping back the beurgeon, the spring growth, tailoring the vine to grow up not out, reach up to the wire trellis. In reality today it is done so the machine can harvest maximum yield, but this work of training the vines to grow this way and not that way has always been a part of the history and the art of wine making.. It is not without its aesthetic moments.

Then comes the rain, cold wet muddy. By day three we are wearing more clothes than in january doing the taille. This is three days after a sunday picnic where we were swimming in the local river. But the storms rolling about give a great look into the weather currents of the region, one day from the south and the sea, another from the plateau to the north, then the Carroux mountains from the west. Each day presents a living 3D weather map as the storms come rolling in, the vigneron constantly pointing here and there explaining which town is receiving the rain,. Sometimes you see the storm dance around you, the sun at the sea, grey but calm. the view is tremendous.

Each day the storms come rolling in, as they trace a line towards us the vigneron gives me a detailed map of the area, the falling rain in the distance acting as a pointer to this town or that. Often with the towns name I get a short story of the towns high points/and or regional products/ a short souvenir of the vigneron - in dialog form. The vines continue.

1 comment:

  1. another time in paradise don't forget the real life out of vines