Sunday, September 25, 2011

Red wine harvest II

All week the neighbours continued harvesting the red malbec grapes - thanks to the marvellous weather.
Midweek however something strange happened : all of a sudden some of the winemakers stopped harvesting.
Asked for the reason they told me that because of the weather forecasts for the next week - temperatures between 29° and 31° - they still hope to get a bit more maturity in the grapes.

In the meantime - together with some guests - I gave the neigbours a little help.
Yesterday we went to Château Fages and helped them harvesting their top red wine à la main.

Some impressions of this day. Thx to Toni & Rita for the pictures.

Of course afterwards we were well taken care of : a superb experience for our guests - and of course also for me.

Have a nice wine.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Red grapes and small animal wild life

As I told you last week the red grape harvest started, beginning with the grapes that are used for the rosé wine and the vin de table, here often called ségalin.

Aren't they nice?

So all week the same scenario: harvest machines from morning till dawn.

The more so as they also started the harvesting of the sunflowers.

Therefore there was a lot of time to pay more attention than usual to the small wild animal life around the house.

Some nice impressions: a baby lizard, an evening cricket, a bee and a toad.

The last one, the toad, who pays me a visit almost every night, is called George - don't ask me why.

Thx to Gunter & Marleen for the photos.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wine harvest, open season and ... give names

Two season "premières" this week that come back every year :

Thanks to the very favorable weather during this year's spring the wine harvest started on the very first day of September - it has never been so early.
For the moment the white wines have already been harvested, such as Chardonnay, Sémillon and Viognier.

Also the red wine harvest will be much earlier this year than usual. The beginning of the AOC malbec harvest is set tomorrow already, the 12th of september.

This morning while getting some croissants I noticed the first men at arms in the valley. I must admit - as I am no hunter at all - that I had completely forgotten about them.
Afterwards I read in the press that this morning the hunting season was opened in the Midi-Pyrenees.
The open season will last until the 29th of February 2012.

To continue on a positive note: Also next week the weather will be marvellous, so our neighbours winemakers will be very happy :

And to end humoristically :
We've been cooking for more than two months now and you know what is very difficult: to give names to the menus and different dishes.

See for yourselves.

Thx to Loïc for that.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tomatoes, cats and ... birds

It was a tomato week. As we are always late with planting our tomatoes they are only ripening as they should right now. Here the harvest of one day :

The seven varieties are (from left to right): Roma, yellow pearshaped cherry tomato, thai pink egg tomato, noire de Crimée, coeur de boeuf, red cherry tomato and green zebra.

So all day we are making a lot of tomato soup, (spaghetti) sauses and tried even to make our own ketchup for the home cocktail sause. Not that bad.

This week Chiara and Marcello discovered the pleasure of climbing the trees and chasing birds together.

Such a joy to see. Especially Marcello whose special pleasure consists in jumping on the trunk and hanging there midway.

Nevertheless, all their activities outdoors couldn't prevent a strange bird from landing in our porch at the front door : a huîtrier variable (Haematopus unicolor - Variable Oystercatcher), called Le Vertige (meaning Vertigo, dizziness).
We kind of like him already. Artist: Geneviève Caplet.