Friday, April 13, 2007

Spring In The Vineyard

Since January I've been trying to get back into the habit of walking every day. Before Collette died, we walked just about every morning for 14 years. After, I took fewer and fewer walks, then stopped all together. And I gained a few pounds. So I started walking again in January and now the new dog will be here in three weeks, so I'm getting some good practice. This week, the waning moon is setting in the morning after sunrise.

The sun rises over our little hamlet.

My walk is pretty much the same every day : out into the vineyard on the dirt road to where it ends, then turn around and come back. It's a thirty minute walk when I walk briskly and a portion of it is at a slight incline. I don't go if it's raining. Thank goodness that it's warmed up since January. This is the first week that I didn't wear a scarf and gloves.

The wall of the maison du vigneron, a little stone hut in the vineyard used for storage.

I had forgotten that when I go every day, I can see the subtle changes that take place out there. The vines get pruned, then the buds form. The cuttings get all lined up between the vines, then they get ground up into mulch by a machine. Trees flower. Wildflowers come and go. The grass grows and leaves appear. Sometimes I see wild hare or even deer. More often I just see their tracks. And now the cuckoos are back.

Spring wildflowers.

The other day I took the camera out to capture some of it. It won't be long now until everything leafs out, including the vines. At that point the vineyard becomes a great sea of green. I can't wait.

The grassy vineyard at sunrise.

You may be wondering what varietals they grow out there. I can't tell them apart, but I know that there are at least five kinds of grapes out there : cabernet franc, gamay, côt, pineau d'aunis, and sauvignon blanc. We buy wine from the owners of most of the vines behind our house, so we've talked to them about what they grow. They told us that the vines just outside our back gate are 100-year old pineau d'aunis. They use that to make their rosé. I can tell where the sauvignon blanc is when the grapes appear - they're the white ones ! Otherwise, I can't tell.

Cab franc ? Sauvignon blanc ? Gamay ? Your guess is as good, if not better, than mine.


  1. Even though I complain about it on occasion, there is nothing like taking your dog for a walk. Maybe it's the solitude of you and your beast alone in the world (or the city or the hamlet) or that quiet moment of observation of the natural changes going on in your surroundings, or the chance to wallow in your own deep thoughts. Callie is going to be one lucky pooch.

  2. Jayne, I totally agree. I missed the walks when I stopped.

  3. Lovely shot of the moon, Walt! And the others, too. I enjoyed reading about your walks. I don't know from grapes, either, but I love my sauvignon blanc!

  4. I find that on days I don't take a walk, my body aches all over, but then I'm much older than you. :)


Tell me what you think!