In the grey days of January it is hard to remember the abundance of the vendange. Here is a picture of the end product at Morlanche – not quite the end product, but on its way to the Co-operative at St Désirat to be transformed into Gamay de l’Ardèche. Markus will be out in the vineyard next week end learning the secrets of winter pruning, to be followed over the coming weeks by manuring, training, ‘effillochage’, spraying (eh oui!) and so on until the far off day next September when the whole family gets together for the ritual vendange. This is a time for jokes and teasing, showing off the new babies, photos of family events, games of pétanque and of course vast meals and endless rounds of Gamay. A vineyard is a great symbol of the life cycle both of the plant and human world. This one is the thread which holds an old family together. The patriarch still dispenses advice and criticism (a lot of both), while the younger generation, although they live far and wide, make the effort to keep the old tradition alive.
So let’s crack open another bottle and here’s to continuity!