Wednesday, November 05, 2008

No Grape Left Unpicked

by guest blogger Sami

When picking grapes it's surprising to remember that wine and the agricultural work that goes with it has been around since before the ancient Roman civilisation. The methods used to pick, or rather cut, grapes from the vine are startling in this modern day and age.

To make matters worse it seems that nobody but me is of the same opinion! At least not amoungst the vendangeurs and vendangesses who rely on the grape picking season for the bulk of their income.

I should explain.

During the months of September until November the people of France gather in large numbers to perform the vendange. Roughly translated as: the cutting of bunches of grapes from the vines that line large tracts of French countryside, as part of a team up to fifty people strong. The team members come from all over France, often from regions which have no vinyards at all. In fact, it would appear that the only link many of them have to the vines in their real lives is the consumption of the grapes by-product: wine.

I joined these sometimes alcoholic and often extremely friendly folk as part of their countrywide migration, to find out who, what, where and mostly...WHY?


No comments: