Sunday, October 04, 2015

Autumn in the vineyard

Harvesting is done for the season and I assume the juice is fermenting away. Over the next few weeks will see the bernache (partially fermented wine) come out. It's served by the glass at markets, festivals, and winery open houses, and is sold bottled in local supermarkets. Bernache bottle caps have a hole in them to let the fermentation gasses escape, preventing the bottles from exploding! Neighbors once warned us not to drink too much of it because it can have the same effect as prune juice, if you know what I mean. This year's bernache should be nice and sweet given the hot summer we had.

Vineyard leaves turning yellow and gold behind a field of Queen Anne's lace.

We're planning to work in the garden this morning, pulling up tomato plants and other vegetables that are "done." There are quite a few winter squash to bring in before it rains again. I don't want them to rot on the ground. Then we plan to plant a small plot of greens (collards and kale) for a winter crop.


  1. This year's bernache is incredibly sweet - not the "just grape juice with a bit of a kick" that the last few year's have been.

  2. Today, we will be digging the spuds that are ready...
    before the rains come tomorrow.
    Our winter squash are lifted off the soil on old roof tiles...
    Villandry uses "tomettes" for the same purpose....
    theirs sit flat... we put ours at a slight tilt, using a bit of boken tile or a lump of calcaire...
    that way the squash can ripen in the sun until the first forecast frost...
    and the flesh is sweeter than if brought indoors.
    You could lay yours out on the terrace for another month....
    and get almost the same effect.
    The "first forecast frost" routine, tho'....
    usually results in a frantic harvest into the wheelbarrows...
    and into the barn... followed by a more leisurely wipe down and arranging up the stairwell over the next few days.
    Any left that need a bit more from the plant get a fleece wrap.

  3. 3 days in a row of bright, colofrul photos. Wonderful :)

  4. I have never heard of bernache. I wonder if it is available to sample.


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