Friday, September 24, 2010

The grape harvest is under way

The harvesters showed up earlier this week to begin les vendanges for the 2010 vintage. There are some hand pickers out there in certain parcels, but most of the grapes are picked by machine. The big harvesters ply the rows, vibrating the grapes from the vines. Their hum sounds eerily like the vuvuzelas during this year's World Cup, only with more vibrato.

Harvester on the left, waiting tractor and trailer on the right.

When the bins on either side of the harvester are filled up, the driver dumps the grapes into a waiting trailer. When that fills up, another driver takes the grapes back to the winery while the harvester continues on. Then he returns with the empty trailer for another load.

The full harvester makes its way toward the trailer to transfer the picked grapes.

This will be going on now for a few weeks. Then, sometime around the first of November, the first fermented grape juice will show up in the markets in the form known around here as bernache. It's not wine yet, but a fizzy taste of things to come. And it's renowned as a great cure for constipation.


  1. I had prayed I could go the rest of my life without having to think about vuvuzelas or the incredibly annoying sound they make.

  2. Hey! I remember when we were here for that last year!!! Say hi to Mr. Geurrier!


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