Sunday, December 29, 2013

Old Vines - a labour of love

You might remember that back in March I purchased a couple of hectares of old vines in the village of Paziols.  I immediately fell in love with these vineyards - the old gnarly vines, the rocky slopes, the stonewalls, the bushy hedgerows and the view.  Not to mention the eclectic mix of traditional grapes - grenache noir, grenache gris, carignan, and macabeu,

Jean Marc was never quite as enthusiastic as myself about these hilltop vines and for good reason.  Because when you actually start to look at how you are going to work the vines you have to be an optimistic dreamer, like myself, with a lot of time on your hands, unlike myself.

The bushy hedgerows are not only overgrown but have sprawled at least 6 ft into the vineyards covering rows of vines and hiding the once lovely perimeter stone walls.  The ditches are blocked and the vines are planted so closely together that you can hardly walk between them let alone get the tractor in.

So last week Jean Marc got his digger out, and I put on my lovely Christmas present gloves (and a dodgy hat).

I feel like the vines are starting to breath again now and can have a good stretch.  We have kept the olive and almond trees around the vineyards and over the next year- or perhaps years - will start building up the stone walls to their former glory.

We've got a lot of bread on our bread board* (as the french say).

* avoir du pain sur la planche