Friday, August 28, 2009


The grapes are withering on the vine. It has been, and is again today, hot and dry. The grapes are small and concentrated, their juice is meager. They are thirsty.

It’s not even september and the machine has started up again like it has for the last 2000 or so years here. Sun, grapes, wine. Baaahhh, there is a sheep somewhere in the backround of the picture. Their mmmeeat and cheese with the red red wines, just like it always was. Wash it down, mmmm good.

Every year it is the same, with just a slightly different taste. This year is no different. Thirsty grapes make concentrated flavor. Too bad for the vigneron who needs the weight more than the flavor. That’s production, but oh well. That big rain that never came this year fills up the grapes with juice and hence weight. When you are paid by the pound, heavy is happy.

Picking in August sun, hot breeze that doesn’t stop. Hard rocky soil baking up from below. Oh yes, you’ll get your wine, some years it comes harder than others, but it always comes. Coteaux de Larzac, but it’s not all production. There are other vignes we are waiting on.

Each day now gives the chemical actions a bit more time to act. It’s a living system inside that raisin skin. The seeds floating in the soft flesh, the sugars agitating, the tannins rising, the seed softens. It’s a dance inside those purple membranes, it’s genetics remembering, way back when, when it was all about getting the seed ready to go back into the ground.

But that’s not what you think in the fields. Hot. Sun. Unending rows. Beginning. Again.

At least that’s what they say. I still have yet to see a tractor. Though I am rarely on the street. The local cave cooperative was open, though three of the four bay doors were shut. For me it starts anyday now, it’s vague the migrant work. When the convention season comes, the pimp doesn’t call his whores and tell them what dates they are starting. They just know that it arrives, they leave the details to their man and await his direction.

In the meantime I am crushing concrete with a jackhammer. This gig is so far off the books that I am not even getting paid for it. I am doing it just for the idea that I need to do something. It’s in a cave, so it is cooler, but it’s dusty. In the meantime it fills up time, next is the clear air of the vines and the spirit breaking heat of unrelenting sun. Don't worry, your wine will come.

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