Baby vines are capped in red wax. The leaves will soon burst through.
Bonjour! Mostly pictures for you today--an exciting phase 2 in the story of our Bandol vineyard, "Mas des Brun." Enjoy and thank you for reading. (To see the videos, visit my instagram page.)
planter les vignes
Planter les vignes. Mon papa et mon frère plantent les vignes.
To plant vines. My dad and my brother plant vines.
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse
Last night 5000 baby vines were delivered to our home. Jean-Marc helped pile them onto the tractor-wagon before backing the tractor into our open garage.
"Do you think we should try to hide them?" I asked, having recently heard about local thieves. They will steal anything! a neighbor recently complained. Pots of paint, dirty gloves, broken tools!
Suddenly our stash of mourvedre looked like a tempting heist! Jean-Marc assured me not to worry, but I had to smile when he got up in the wee hours of the night to babysit his new vines. I got up earlier too, and after two cups of coffee felt as wired as a motherboard.
I couldn't wait to see all the action in the field. There, in the old oliveraie, Jean-Marc was about to plant his second parcel of vines. He had carefully planned it out, going as far as to uproot century-old olive trees (a difficult decision; the trees have been replanted elsewhere).
Our son Max, who is working more and more on the vineyard, had an exam and couldn't come until after lunch. So he sent his friend Antoine to help.
Jean-Marc received non-stop telephone calls, making it difficult to concentrate on his task!
"Au pif"--or measuring the rows "by guesswork". We were so lucky to have this professional and in demand team. The man in the middle is the boss, and his specialty is planting vines in tricky spaces--this century old olive grove is a special, very very special place to plant! Il faut respecter les arbres!
Baby vines lines up and ready to go into the ground (you can barely see them on top of the earth. First, a hole is "drilled" with the paou (Provençale word for the "T" tool you see the man in blue holding).
The precise tool for planting grapevines.
Those sacks of precious vines.
It is always a pleasure to see French traditions like this: the little wicker picnic baskets that the three men brought with them for their lunch.
Part of the planting team, flanked by Jean-Marc and me. These three men were so serious and quiet during the planting... and then suddenly chatty when the work was done. And what an honor when they said, on leaving, "à l'année prochaine!" (see you next year). We will need them more than ever, during phase 3... when our vines will travel up the side of the hill.
See a video, here, of the entire equipe, or team, taken just moment ago before sunset. A toast to their hard work!
- La Mère Porteuse: When Jean-Marc got his first vines and babied them like a surrogate mother.
- Veuve de la vendange: find out what it is like to be married to a passionate winemaker, in the story "Crush Widow".
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Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi