It’s September 25th and my twenty-fifth Languedoc Vine Report. When I began this weekly account of our local vineyards I didn’t realise a person could become so attached to a bunch of grapes on a vine. I’ve been taking photos of Mademoiselle Merlot since April when she was only a naked piece of vine wood.
What’s happening in the Languedoc vineyards?
It’s all happening. Last week there was a lull. After the whites had been harvested, the land fell quiet again. We were waiting for the reds.
Then, in the early hours, it was like War of the Worlds out there in the hills. There are lights everywhere – harvesters, tractors and trailers. The landscape is alive with activity and noise.
Every light you see twinkling in the background is another group of wine growers working to bring in the harvest. Apologies for the quality of the filming. It was 4.30 am. At this time of the year there’s no light till around 6.30. I waited for first light.
and made another shaky film.
This shows how the harvesters shake the fruit from the vines. In the distance the Montagnes Noir glowed pink in early sunlight.
Tractors load up and head for the cooperative. Notice how much liquid there is already!
In a previous Languedoc Vine Report you saw what happens when the fruit arrives at the cave. I’m planning another visit to the cooperative after harvesting is finished to show you what happens next.
Elsewhere in France the harvest is just as late as here in Languedoc. In Champagne, for example, they have only just begun.
This morning, mist rolled in from the Mediterranean. The air feels damp. They’ll need to finish this harvest quickly now. This may be the last photograph we will have of Mademoiselle Merlot before she gets whisked off to join her cousins.
I’m sure she’s going to taste just as good as she looks.
Autumn in the Languedoc vineyards
Elsewhere, the vineyards are looking autumnal. Leaves have changed colour. You can see where the harvesting machines have left behind some bunches at the bottom of the vines.
I looked out for more seasonal signs on the walk home.
Remember when I took this photograph of pomegranate flowers?
Look in the hedgerow today to see what’s there.
Languedoc country lanes hold a lot of surprises.
Last week, it was free figs and we made jam with them.
Today, there are enough pomegranates to make your own grenadine.
Join me next week for the latest news from the Languedoc vineyards. Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you. You can follow on Twitter @cmicklefield and I keep a Celia Micklefield author page on Facebook. See you there,