a vendangeur’s (pictoral) tale… (part dix)

But actually, days 11 and 12 – 11 being the last harvest day.

The wood burning stove thing looked like something out of an illicit still operation from the backwoods Southern USA. Très bizarre! Romain A was using it to heat ‘pure’, for bio purposes, very hot water although the initial lighting of the wood using a blow torch(!) A large vessel containing the water being heated sat on top of the stove with a plastic pipe running from it to draw off hot water. Romain was using the hot water to clean the screw thread mechanism thingie from the destemmer which was caked in a black gunge. Using the hot water and a scraper he got the metal parts back to clean, bare, metal using the wood stove heated hot water – this took up most of the day I think.

I could quite easily have brought Mystique home with me. Reckon he enjoyed the vendange as much as anybody & a return to quiet and no occupation at the Arlaud village maison & yard will be a little odd for him at first – doubtless his bird and rodent hunting activities will fill his days !

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There are 2 responses to “a vendangeur’s (pictoral) tale… (part dix)”

  1. willersc29th October 2013 at 11:12 amPermalinkReply


    Thanks a million for sharing your experience / photos. It sounded like one hell of a tough vendage but a very satisfying and worthwhile experience at the same time.

    It’s still a romantic dream of mine to get out the cote a knuckle down and get involved but your posts certainly paint a more challenging image than the glorified picture in my head. I’m not dissuaded one bit from getting involved but I think that I’ll ensure to be prepared for the worst before I head out (and bring suitable clothing along at all times!).


  2. Mark Gough29th October 2013 at 10:59 pmPermalinkReply

    No problem Will, thanks for your comments but proper thanks also to Bill for posting my most amateur photo efforts to this ace site. For the most part this vendange was the usual enjoyable ‘exercise’, all the more so for me as I’d had to miss 2012 for family reasons, but parts of 3 days were indeed undeniably ‘the’ most testing I’ve had across the six vendanges I now have ‘under my belt’. Almost 11 days was very tiring also, past vendanges no more than max 7 days for me – the extra down to ‘my’ domaine buying in grapes (for the first time I think) which we also picked. As already recorded this took us to fascinating new sites in Nuits & Vosne, the latter unexpectedly fulfilling a secret personal ambition to work in Vosne terroir which did not disappoint. Any vendange is more challenging than romantic notions but, for me, its always worth it. The combination of the experience, the place(s), the people, the camaraderie, friendships, satisfaction of hard work well done, away from it all etc etc make it priceless. I consider myself very, very, fortunate and would not swap my vendange experiences for anything; supremely grateful to Amelie MacMahon at Magenta for my first opportunity, Christine Dubreuil in lovely Pernand for 2009 (both of whom touchingly greeted me in lovely warm fashion on visits on my spare days post vendange), and the wonderful Arlaud family for taking me on in 2008 and the three more years since.

    Don’t be dissuaded but have no illusions and be prepared as it sounds like you may have figured out !


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