Saturday, September 27, 2008

Burgundy and the Grape Harvest

September 26, 2008 Burgundy and the Grape Harvest
Today after a typical Burgundian breakfast of coffee or hot chocolate and a basket of croissants, spice bread, pain de vignerons (a raisin nut bread) and baguettes served with local honey and jams (strawberry, apricot and blackberry jelly along with dandelion, a new favorite); we left for the vineyards. The weather was clear and crisp. The rows of grapes stretched as far as we could see, up the side of the hills and throughout the valley. Workers picked in groups of about 20 – two or three with huge plastic baskets strapped to their backs wandered through the group while the rest cut the grapes, placed them in small pails and when they were full, dumped them in the large baskets. Along the road near each group a truck pulling a metal vat waited for the harvest. What an opportunity for us to be here right now to see this! A limestone cliff lined the west side of the valley, so we made our way through a small village with a 10th Century church of the Templar knights and climbed to the top of the cliffs. The view was fabulous - small red roofed villages and miles and miles of straight rows of vines outlined in short stone walls that have surely been there for centuries. The best vineyards even had huge wrought iron entry gates with the names of the label they produced. What an experience!

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