Friday, May 27, 2011

Reach for the sky

While you can. This is what the grape vines are looking like right now. The grape flowers have formed and are beginning to open. The vine tendrils are growing toward the sky. Even without much rain, the vines look good if not a little less vigorous than normal.

Grape vines looking healthy in the drought.

Remember that irrigation is interdit (forbidden) in France's vineyards. The grapes are the product of the soil and the weather. Some years there is too much rain (worry, grumble, worry) some years there is not enough rain (worry, grumble, worry), and some years everything's just right (worry, grumble, worry, because everything is never just right).

It won't be long before the tractors roll up and down the rows slicing off the top growth. That allows the vine to put its energy into making grapes instead of leaves. It also turns the vineyard into a very neat and geometric place.

This morning's sky is leaden (un ciel de plomb) but the forecasts show little if any precipitation in our area. Other than a few sprinkles here and there, it's going to continue dry for the foreseeable future.


  1. Dry is good for our holidays !!
    But I do share everyone's anxiety for the crops.

  2. The farmer's lament. The weather is never quite right and our farm is about to go out of business. Same the world over.

  3. I wish you will get the rain you need and soon..........

  4. The vines look healthy enough, as you would expect. But it's not a good situation with regard to your drought. Hope it changes soon for you.

  5. Didn't realize there was no irrigation. Now I know why French wine is so expensive.

  6. That "worry, grumble, worry" sounds very familiar. m.

  7. Nice photo.

  8. I don't now that, they can not irrigate the vineyards in France.

    Have a nice weekend

  9. They certainly come up in a hurry.

  10. Worry, grumble, worry. Sounds just like Jerry's family talking about farming in South Dakota. Hope you get some rain sooner than expected.

  11. Again, you've given me another good idea for a picture. I'm off to the nearby Nassau Valley Vineyard. Photos in a future blog.

  12. jean, I know. We need rain, but I like the good weather.

    andrew, yup.

    kristi, thanks!

    craig, and it's worse for the farmers. Water for irrigation is going to be scarce unless it rains more up in the mountains.

    rick, it's expensive where you live probably because of the cost of importing (transport). Here, it's not expensive at all.

    mark, yes, you do live with a Frenchman. ;)

    calogero, grazie.

    jérôme, nope, not allowed!

    starman, everything is early this year.

    mitch, it's probably the universal mantra of farming. ;)

    ron, can't wait to see!

  13. As a student of wine; I wonder how badly French wine suffers in the global market because of their restrictions of what they can/can't do.
    Or perhaps being 'French' they don't have to compete or do anything as the reputation does it alone?

  14. The high value of the euro hurts French wine internationally. Also the fact that in France they don't usually label wines by grape variety, but instead by region. The Loire is the exception to that rule. And usually, in France, too much rain is the problem, not too little (as to the question of no irrigation being allowed).

  15. I'm loving these photos of the vineyard....BTW my mood is much better now that Boston's weather is far more temperate (20c / 80f) for the past 4+ days...


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