September 12th 2018
Earlier this evening it rained for approx an hour accompanied by the odd rumble of thunder and oddly the sun shone for most of that time, it came after a day when the temperature had quickly hit 31 degrees and a hot wind blew all day. As it was only the fourth time it had rained in 6 weeks we didn’t feel too put out.
We have never been here so late in September before, careers in education always meant we were back in the uk by the end of August, so we have been able this year to see the commencement of the Vendage ( grape harvest). This commences approx 100 days after the first flowers blossom on the vines. Depending on the vineyard, the steepness of land, type of grape etc the grapes are either harvested mechanically or by hand.
Another tradition we came across for the first time this year occured when we visited the cave where we always stock up with wine to take home, they were selling a strange cloudy sweet wine called Bourru. I wasn’t sure what it was all about but bought a 1.5 litre bottle for 3 euros. I’ve looked it up on Google and found it is known by different names in different parts of France and other wine producing countries.
Sometimes known as Gruff or Grumpy wine it is a must during fermentation, this cloudy wine still contains lots of sugar and yeast doesn’t keep long, it has very low alcoholic content. The tradition started with wine makers allowing people to taste this early wine to gauge its possible future outcome and continues in some regions until November.