Languedoc Vine Report # 19. August 7th

Here’s our vine. This is the same plant we’ve been watching since week one.

Merlot vine

developing later than her sisters

She’s being a bit slow. Other bunches on the same row are turning red in advance of her.

vine changing colour

getting there!

Further along the lane and into the next vineyard and the grapes are even further on in their change of colour.

Luscious vine

Looking good!

Skies were grey this morning. Humidity was up again. I met another grower filling large plastic containers from the water pump on top of the hill by the cemetery and we had a word. He was another elderly grower, originally from Spain whose French came bursting forth with rapid Spanish intonation and left me floundering. But, I got the gist.

The Marin is to blame for the dirty weather, he said. He shook his head and pulled a face. He believes we are at least 15 days behind our usual harvest dates. The first problem was the cold weather that went on into June. Now, it’s the Marin wind, bringing coastal fog and humidity from the Mediterranean. There’s more information about this wind here on weather online.co.uk. At its worst, the Marin can lead to devastating flash floods. Let’s hope the wind changes soon.

I didn’t take a photograph of this grower. I think I’m getting a reputation amongst the old fellers in the village. I don’t want them getting the wrong impression. Fortunately, Monsieur Joseph can put them right about my marital status. Remember him? We’ve met with his family from Manchester and had a barbecue together.

Last year, the daughter was a girl. This year she’s a young woman. Groomed eyebrows and everything. Beautiful girl. How does time fly. Here am I watching the grapes grow from week to week and out of my sight massive changes are taking place. My friend’s daughter has left childhood behind. It’s cause for celebration that she is turning into such a delightful young woman, but it’s tinged with sadness for what is past. Those days are never coming back. You can’t live them again. They’re memories now. I remember saying goodbye to my daughter’s childhood.

Enough. I’ll be writing a novel about it if I don’t stop. Or, I’ll be blubbing.

I walked further. The Marin was blowing. The cicadas were still singing.

Past the cemetery and down the other side of the rise there’s a mausoleum. It’s beyond the boundaries of the cemetery itself, at the edge of a vineyard so I wonder if it’s on unconsecrated ground. I wonder who was buried here?

tomb in the vines

couldn’t bear to be parted from his vines?

Maybe next time I’m passing I’ll investigate more. I didn’t want to linger. The clouds were gathering.

vineyard lane

the way back home

Later, we had rain. The humidity is off the scale. It was too hot to sleep. I got up at 4am, put some mix in the breadmaker and switched on my trusty iMac to complete this week’s Vine Report. I hope you can sleep where you are!

Cheers! See you next time.

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