Sunday, 4 October 2009

Mid Merlot Harvest

So many backlogged blogs remain stubbornly in my mind and not on the page. Since returning from Italy we have been inundated with crops to process, at present the vines are the priority, and not just our own harvest but we seem to be collecting other growers grape excesses via our local Freecycle. (Luckily, we have also received help with additional equipement by the same route).
So, the kitchen has become a cross between a modern laboratory and a witches' cauldon, with bins bubbling with fermentation and large pots steaming with sauces, jams and chutneys due to the tomato glut (next blog). Fruit flies abound, but hopefully have been kept out of the brews, as with all brewing, cleanliness is next to goodly-ness! In haste, more soon.


sweet bay said...

Those grapes are gorgeous. I love the description of your kitchen. :)

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Who needs Bordeaux?

I'm mighty impressed with your harvest.

Presumably those wooden containers don't allow the grapes to sweat, as well as being photogenic.
Talking of foods that sweat, I was in Leclerc supermarket at Perigueux the other day and for the life of me could't fathom the wisdom of them selling cepes that you then had to have weighed in plastic bags. Mushrooms and plastic bags don't mix, there should be a campaign for paper bags being available for mushroom selection in supermarkets.

So, am I right in thinking you had a 'ripening' September this year?

2009 looks a decent vintage in SW France. We're in a warm 'plume' of air here for the next few days with highs forecast at 28 or 29C. Fabulous if only it wasn't dark just before 8PM.

Jan said...

The grapes look fantastic, but I don't envy you all the work!

Flying Whale said...

now that's a lot of grapes, they look fabulous!

for those pesky fruit flies, you could try this:

1. Pour a cup of apple cider vinegar into a jar or small bowl.

2. Add a couple drops of dish soap to the jar.

3. Cover the container with plastic wrap, and poke a few small holes in the wrap.

4. Place in the area where you've seen the fruit flies, and wait for the trap to do its job.

good luck!

immersion said...

This is outrageous! What a crop to come home to. The grapes...the grapes! I'm amazed. They are beautiful. I'll leave you to your cauldrons now. Happy brewing!

chaiselongue said...

This all looks wonderful! It must be lovely to watch all those cauldrons bubbling away and the wine will make all the work worthwhile.

Re the blip censorship issue - most of the story is on the forum thread 'inappropriate content'. It was a very unhappy episode which has changed the way I feel about blip, but the good news is that impoftheyard and sleepyduck are now blogging at and respectively.

joey said...

Sounds perfectly wonderful to me! Would love to be in kitchen beside you and your fruitful harvest ... 'my cup of tea (or wine)'! We are blessed to have wonderful vineyards producing award winning wines here in Michigan. We will be off soon for our annual visit!

Woodland Fay said...

Rob- the wooden containers are French, of course! Re: LeClerc and plastic, another nail in the coffin of old France! (Waitrose only supply paper bags for their mushrooms, sadly though they don't supply cepes). The idea behind planting Merlot, Cabinet Franc and one or two Cabernet Sauvignon was to try and create a sort-of Bordeaux blend, but of course Cabernet Sauvignon doesn't really stand a change of ripening here. But considering their young age the vines have done amazingly well this year.

Jan and Sweet Bay and immersion yes, kitchen the center of crazy, organised chaos, hopeful will be all worth it during those horrible winter evenings when a sip or two of summer will bring it's own reward!

Flying Whale we're both really impressed by this ingenious method of trapping fruit flies, (may need one in every room of the house by tomorrow, they're breeding!) many thanks.

chaiselongue- Thanks for taking the time to explain the situation, have written to SleepyDuck. Difficult to understand the complaints without seeing the image, but knowing the work I can, perhaps, imagine. Still no excuses for pandering to the mob!

Joey- come around anytime for tea or stronger! And then perhaps you'll take me on a tour around the vineyards of Michigan.

I've been told to tell you all that Nick took the photographs, and is doing most of the brewing and did all the harvesting and most of the caring for the plants. Credit due and paid in full! OK? Cluck!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Oh, Fay! What beautiful grapes! I am getting drunk just thinking how much wine you'll make! I can not help, sorry!

Carol said...

What a life! Your photos depict an idyllic and very busy one... what painterly grapes you grow... and all those yummy chutneys and such... who cares about a fruit fly here and there. I love how the colors in the grapes are found in varying tones and values in your lovely stones. With so much to do ... there is no wonder you have not had time to get back to Venice... or maybe it is your co-pilots shyness. Enjoy the harvest! Carol