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Category Archive for: ‘Diary of the Vineyard’

The last barrels have finished fermenting, and all the grape juice has now turned into wine. The vines know that the game is over: their leaves turn gold and then drop, one by one, to the ground. Birds swarm overhead and prepare to migrate. Suddenly the weather is colder, and a warning chill blows down […]

Glorious September continued into glorious November, and summer sits on our plateau like a guest who won’t leave. Just when you think it’s on its way out,  it leans forward and says, “Well all right then, just another little one please.  If  you insist”, and lingers for another round.   It is utterly magnificent.  That’s […]

Every harvest presents its own challenges, and this one is no exception. Most challenging of all has been the weather. They say – actually, we say too – there is no such thing as a ‘bad’ harvest, there are only ‘bad’ winemakers, who haven’t responded to the weather’s challenges in the right way. But when […]

We were getting more than a little worried last month.  It was cold, it was rainy.  The grapes were sour, and so were we.  The sky scowled (and so did we).  And then suddenly the calendar’s page turned, and the month’s mood with it. Right now the sky is a brilliant blue, the grapes are […]

August didn’t come to Rives-Blanques until the moon struck mid month: then the quietly pressing matter of the harvest became more insistently pressing.   That is when we returned to France from Ireland where Jan had been sailing his little dinghy of the Ette class, called BlanquEtte (of course).  The truth is that BlanquEtte didn’t […]