The local vineyards are teeming with activity.
Weather, weather and some more of the same is what makes everything happen in the vineyards. It determines how good the grapes taste, how big and prolific they are and of course when we get called up for harvesting. Even though summer is over, we did get a late reminder yesterday as it was 30 degrees and perfect for picking.
All morning the troupes gathered and tractors could be heard everywhere. I find our wine area rather authentic as almost all the bunches of grapes are hand picked. In the movies it tends to look rather romantic but it is jolly hard work. Grapes like to grow on a slope and once you've picked them, collected them in simple buckets, you have to carry them to the road.
Despite all the grumbles, picking grapes is nice work and I find it so amazing that a mere bunch of grapes can make great wine. We've most of us grown up believing that factories and supermarkets make food and beverages. Wine has been made for thousands of years and not that much has changed in the making of wine.
Grapes plus time equals wine...
At the end of our harvesting, Bob and I were outside the wine cellar ( Kellerstock ) cleaning the various utensils with high pressured water, when one car after next, filled with eager pickers, drove by. Remember, in our village, seeing more than three cars pass one after the other, is akin to a traffic dilemma. Smog is luckily unheard of here.
To harvest the various vineyards, and some of them are huge, friends help out. It is an unwritten rule that you help each other, and naturally your friends ( or family ) get chosen first. Once you know who owns which vineyard, you can easily work out the social circles of our village. Miss Marple would have had a field day.
Picking grapes is an honour and let me tell you, that there are legions of big city wine lovers, who take a week off work, in order to help with the harvesting. An authentic, soul refreshing, humble, exhausting, wine filled and yet fantastic holiday.