Saturday, October 06, 2012

Vendage (or Harvest)

Ross tells me he was woken up this morning by the sound of the grape-harvesting machine.  Since we look out across the valley filled with vineyards, it seems entirely possible.
View from the across the road.

Harvesting this year has just begun, considerably later than most years because apparently it has not been a good year for grapes and the farmers think that if they can leave them a bit longer they might get better.  A cold and wet spring, followed by a hot and dry August didn't do them any good and the wine makers are not anticipating a great vintage.  Most of the wine made here is under the (brand) name "Cahors" which means it is a rich, dark, full-bodied red made mostly of malbec grapes.  We're having to test quite a few!

Most of the grapes will be machine harvested, except perhaps for the older vines, which are 200 or more years old.  They will be hand picked. We're becoming quite accustomed to following the tractors with their wagons full of grapes as they shuttle between the vines and the processing locations along the narrow back roads.

Today we ventured the 20 mins to Cahors and walked across this very medieval looking bridge.  Built in the 14th century to fortify the city, it was apparently very successful.  I can see why!
Pont Valentré

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