Thursday, May 22, 2008
Here I am back home in La Sechere after 2 weeks slogging in the mud...there were a few hours of sunshine, but rain episodes nearly every day!
I worked with any where from 2 to 8 people every day trimming and cleaning 20 hectares of grape vines for the Chateau Vieux Chevrol with my trusty empamphrette. It was an interesting group. A Dutch friend who is a professional bee keeper, a Frenchman from Plazac near here, a group of 3 Moroccans and a few other of the Chateau regular crew and this year, there was a young Chinese girl from Canton who was doing a stage in France, learning about Gastronomy and Culture.
She lived at the Chateau and got to learn up close about the care and cleaning of grapevines, thousands of them!
While we were there, the 2006 wine was bottled. It has been maturing in oak casks for a year. That was pretty neat, as the bottling is done by a company that has a mobile bottling plant on a truck which can turn out 22,000 bottles a day!
We also sampled the 2005 Vieux Chevrol which already is proving to be a marvelous wine.
At the harvest, the producers in Lalande Pomerol raved about the quality of the grapes and perhaps it would be one of the great vintages.
As I am learning about the Bordeaux appellations, the true character really appears after 6 years, but the 2005 is off to a great start. If you invest in wine, take heed!
While I was working, I was literally out of touch with all media. I had no access to the internet and I had a small personal radio, but reception with BBC was touchy and usually I would start to listen and then fall asleep with the earphones in my ears...
I heard about the Burmese Typhoon and the subsequent horror and then the Sezchaun Chinese Earthquake, but details were sketchy. American politics were commented on briefly and I was able to get more from the French stations from Libourne and Bordeaux.
I am just catching up with reality. When I arrived back here, we were having grave problems with the phone lines which only got resolved yesterday afternoon. Now I am catching up with the realities of French politics as well. We filled up the car today as diesel fuel hit a record high and the fishermen threatened to blockade ships delivering fuel and the refineries! The government made some kind of concession to the fishermen...the fishermen were rightly pissed off because the government had promised to help them last year and then had done absolutely zilch!
Today, the trains are on strike...alors?